Hasunga said the current fertiliser price is still not friendly to farmers hence TFRA has the responsibility to ensure it goes down further.
The minister was speaking on Tuesday at the opening of the cooperative societies meeting that discussed the Bulk Purchase System (BPS) held at Mpendejirani Hall in Vwawa, Songwe Region.
He said regulations governing procurement of the fertiliser in bulk was formulated following researches by local and foreign researchers whose findings showed that BPS can reduce fertiliser cost for more than 50 percent.
He said despite the government insisting upon farmers to use cooperatives in finding solutions to various economic and social challenges they face still the cooperatives have failed to put in place a robust system in bringing together farmers in the issue of fertiliser buying that would alleviate fertiliser cost to them.
He explained the meeting’s participants that already his ministry through the Registrar of Cooperative Societies has issued directives to all cooperatives to submit their fertiliser requirement to TFRA so that the commodity is procured in bulk through BPS.
He said if cooperatives will procure fertiliser through BPS using (bank guarantees) with small interest (1–4 percent) and transport it by rail the cost of NPK fertiliser for example will go down considerably.
Also in the same meeting Hasunga directed Tropical Pesticide Research Institute (TPRI) to provide training to the wananchi on the proper use of the pesticides.
The Songwe District Commissioner John Palingo, who represented the Regional Commissioner at the meeting hailed the government for the creation and administration of cooperative societies as farmers have continued to benefit, including better prices for their crops.