Minister faults  custom officers harassing farmers and traders

13Aug 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Minister faults  custom officers harassing farmers and traders

INDUSTRY and Trade Minister, Innocent Bashungwa has urged custom officers at various border posts countrywide to stop harassing farmers and traders when exporting goods.

INDUSTRY and Trade Minister, Innocent Bashungwa.

Bashungwa was concerned that facilitating smooth exportation of the agricultural products will help boost farmer’s income as well as the country’s economy.

He made the directive over the weekend when speaking at a function to mark the 25th anniversary of a Karagwe based Non Govermental Organization ‘Mavuno’ and 1st  graduation of Mavuno’s model girls secondary school.

The Minister noted that most farmers fail to sell their crops to neighbouring countries due to bureaucracy. He insisted on the officials to facilitate farmers to sell their crops since there is a huge demand of the crops including bananas and soya in the neighboring countries.

“Farmers should be assisted to sell their agricultural products outside the country. There is a huge demand for banana and soya beans in Rwanda, but the country are importing the products from Zambia”, he said.

He said Tanzanian farmers can grab the markets in Rwanda, but there should also be efforts to assist them to engage in modern farming for increased productivity. He said that extension officers and district agricultural departs must collaborate to help small holder farmers to engage in commercial farming.

The Minister also insisted on agricultural officers to assist finding markets since most of them do not know where to take their crops.

Mavuno Director, Charles Bahati said the organization which was established in 1993 works to assist villagers from 13 villagers to use their available resources for development. He said the organization was previously working in Karagwe and Kyerwa district, but currently they operate in many villages within the region.

Bahati said that Mavuno has constructed 582 water wells with the capacity to produce between 16,000 and 22,000 liters benefiting more than13, 000 people.

The organization resolved to establish a secondary school in 1996 after realizing that some of the girls at the area were not registered to continue with secondary education so that they help parents in domestic works such as cocking, washing and grazing.

The girls school has a total of 277 students, among them 42 will sit for this year’s Form Four national examination.

Bahati said the organization is currently teaching the villagers how to engage on modern diversification agriculture to increase productivity as well as family income.