He issued the ban here on Sunday when addressing Ilolo Villagers in Kiwira Ward, Rungwe District saying the government’s position is to ensure the “lumbesa” system is done away with.
He said the system have is more disadvantageous to farmers especially in regard to potatoes which is among crops widely cultivated in Mbeya and Njombe regions.
He said the acceptable weight system is the weighing machine and that an acceptable weight of a bag of produce should not be more than 100kgs, and added that any other system was sheer theft.
He instructed the Agriculture ministry to supervise the use of weighing scales at market places especially in villages to eradicate the use of unofficial weight systems, including plastic containers.
For his part, Agriculture Deputy Minister Hussein Bashe said he will soon convene a special meeting with all Regional Commissioners in potato producing areas to discuss and put in place strategies against the “lumbesa.”
He said farmers have been incurring great cost to grow crops but with little benefits due to the unacceptable practice by some traders who defraud farmers through unofficial weight systems.
“The cry against “lumbesa” has been around for a long time and that now the government must come up with a solution. In the proposed meeting we shall involve other stakeholders in order to come up with one voice,” he said.
He also said his ministry will continue supervising other crops including priority crops including cvashew nuts, tea, coffee, oil palm, and others.
Earlier, Rungwe Member of Parliament, Anthony Mwantono said Rungwe District is among large potato growing districts but the challenge faced by farmers is low price and use of unauthorized weight.
He said farm inputs are sold to farmers at high cost compared to what they earn after selling their crops hence he appealed to the government to assist farmers to find solutions to these challenges.