In an interview with The Guardian yesterday, farmers lamented that they have been selling their crops at lowest prices despite high production cost.
Gwerino Kikoti, a farmer and resident of Kilolo district said they are spending a lot of money to hire agricultural experts for increased food production.
“We spend too much money in production but what we get after selling the crop is peanut due to poor prices offered by traders in our region,” he said.
Deputy Director of the One Acre Fund a non government organisation, Andrea Hicks said they are working to support farmers as well as helping them find markets and good prices.
Hicks noted that, the organisation provide expertise and agricultural inputs to farmers to boost their harvests.
He added that they are consulting other organizations to see how they can assist framers in securing market for their crops especially maize.
Kilolo District Commissioner, Asia Abdallah said the district has a system of preserving crops in the warehouse to enable buyers to get them from a single place.
“Price challenge are caused by farmers themselves as they sometimes opt to sell their product through middlemen,” the DC said.
She added that most of the farmers still do not have understanding on the impacts of selling their crops to the middlemen.
Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, Stella Manyanya told the National Assembly last month that TANTRADE has secured regional markets for maize and cow peas.
She said the government efforts to look for foreign markets for local produce are yielding fruit as it has found a market for rice and maize in seven countries in the region.
The Deputy Minister said the government through its embassies had secured ready markets for the crops in Oman, Egypt, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, Burundi and Comoro Islands.
Through TANTRADE, the government received requests from the private sector in Rwanda seeking to purchase 102,000 tonnes of maize, Burundi 100,000 tonnes, Zambia 3,000 tonnes and Comoro Island 3,000 tonnes of the produce in the current financial year, she said.
Statistics from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) on crop exports show at least 39,218 tonnes had already been sold, she stated.