The growth of Tanzania’s agricultural exports is constrained more by domestic factors than international trade barriers.
The remarks were made by director of policy and planning in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Marketing Ali Mwaimu at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) when opening a Safe Dar es Salaam Dissemination workshop.
He said the low level of domestic entrepreneurship coupled with poor quality products resulted in the loss of market share while limited financial capital and some land and labour laws deter the growth of medium and large-scale agricultural production, leading to export sector dependency on small-scale producers.
He explained that factors that limit the growth of Tanzania’s export trade were broadly categorized into low productivity and non tariff barriers including lack of infrastructure that has resulted into high energy and transportation costs.
He said a number of non-tariff barriers to trade among them some export procedures and associated bureaucracy, multiplicity of local governments taxes and cross-border trade restrictions remain a hindrance to agricultural exports.
However, he said despite slow growth in Tanzania’s exports, the competitiveness of Tanzania’s commodities in the regional market was improving due to trade liberalization and the regional integration process.
Mwaimu observed that many developing countries including Tanzania who are dependent on traditional agricultural exports have been declining amid increasing export volumes.
He said it was a result of a long-term declining trend in commodity prices. He said that market access and entry barriers in importing countries are limiting the ability of developing countries to expand exports of their processed products.
Mwaimu said that when the no-tariff barriers were overcome, it would be possible to integrate smallholder farmers in high value global markets by empowering them to be able to comply with the standards of the markets.