They made the appeal here mid this week at a meeting to mobilise for the cultivation of wheat organised by the Uyole Centre of Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI-Uyole).
They said they were being forced to sell the crop at between 8,000/- and 15,000/- per a 20-litre plastic container.
One of the farmers, Michael Mbugu asked the government to find ways to help them from being defrauded by the middlemen, as they have been toiling in the production of the crop, hence the price they end up with does not benefit them at all.
Mbeya District Commissioner William Ntinika said there was a problem of extension officers not visiting farmers to listen to their complaints and directed that they should go to them to solve their problems.
“Mbeya region has ample fertile land for farming but the problem is on the agricultural officers not visiting farmers to educate them on better farming practices including how to reduce production costs, hence I now issue an order for the officers to visit all farmers where they are to solve their problems,” the DC said.
In regard to the wheat price issue, Ntinika urged farmers to abide by guidelines from experts to cultivate high quality crops that would compete in the markets and fetch good prices.
TARI wheat researcher Dr Rose Mongi said they have produced adequate seeds and hence they expect to distribute them to more than 400 farmers including training them on better farming of the crop.
He said wheat production without adhering to professional expertise and use of quality seeds was the main reason for farmers ending up in little harvests.