Farmers' export crops sales surge slightly in 3rd quarter of last year

28Jan 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
Farmers' export crops sales surge slightly in 3rd quarter of last year

Procurement of six major cash crops increased slightly in the third quarter of last year compared to the similar period in 2014 mostly due poor weather, low prices and the seasonality of farming in Tanzania, The Guardian has established.

Maize as one of the Cash crops

The buying of the country’s major export crops during the quarter was far better over the performance recorded in the second quarter of 2015, which was mainly affected by the seasonality factor.

Farmers sold the least amount of the crops in the first quarter of the year, which amounted to 29,996.2 tonnes compared to 32,718.7 tonnes in the April-June period. According to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) new figures, 155,581.4 tonnes of the six major traditional export crops were sold in the quarter ending September.

“Procurement of the six major traditional export crops (cotton, tobacco, cashew nuts, coffee, sisal, and tea) increased in the quarter ending September 2015 compared to similar period in 2014,” the central bank says in a new report.

“Procurement of coffee and tobacco increased while that of cotton, sisal and tea declined. The increase in procurement of coffee was attributed to favourable weather condition in main coffee growing areas of Mbeya, Kagera and Ruvuma coupled with bumper crop cycle,” it further notes.

“On the contrary, procurement of cotton and tea decline as a result of unfavourable weather and low farm gate prices, while low leaf potential affected production of sisal. There were no procurement of cashew nuts as it was an off season,” the report adds.

Compared to 2014, the procurement this year surged by 3.9 per cent. The best performance was recorded in the buying of coffee that went up by nearly 50 per cent.

In the third quarter of 2014, only 14,723 tonnes of coffee was bought. During the same period in 2015, the amount shot up to 37,214. Most of Tanzania’s coffee is exported.

BoT’s latest review of the economy shows that 48,100 tonnes of coffee were exported during the year ending October 2015 compared to 50,200 tonnes in the corresponding period in 2014. These fetched US$159.3 million and US$130.6 million in foreign exchange respectively.

Tobacco was the most procured crop with 58,836.9 tonnes but that was only 5.7 per cent what was bought in the same third quarter in 2014. Next was cotton which recorded sales of 49,046 tonnes that was however little by 26.6 per cent of the previous year’s 66,810 tonnes.

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