The Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, Stella Manyanya told the National Assembly yesterday that the government through its embassies had secured ready markets for 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.
The deputy minister was responding to a question by Tunduma MP George Mwakajoka (CHADEMA) who wanted to know if the government was looking for foreign markets for rice and maize produced in the country.
Last week, the government said it has managed to convince investors to come and invest in processing pigeon peas and other legumes.
An Indian company, Mahashree Agro Processing Ltd, is building a factory in Morogoro with a capacity to process 700,000 tonnes of the crop per year, which is expected to start operations anytime this month.
Other industries processing the crop include Quality Pulse Exporters Ltd of Dar es Salaam, Agro Processing Pulse whose investors are from Kenya and India and Samson Agro Export Ltd from India, she elaborated.
“The government is working hard to ensure that factories processing peas are available in the country, and in an effort to broaden the market, people should consume more of the peas crops since they are good for health,” she appealed.
Nachingwea MP Hassan Masala (CCM) had similarly sought to know what the government was doing to help find market for pigeon peas farmers who despite producing in mass have no readily available market.
“Peas farmers in the country have for a long time failed to get a market for their products. What is the government doing to help them?” he demanded.
The deputy minister said the government has both short and long term strategies, where the long term strategy includes inviting investors to establish factories.
Short term strategies include looking for markets within and outside the country, with good results having been seen since March, following visitations in search for crop markets in Malawi, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia.
Following the trips, Malawi has shown interest in purchasing 7,000 tonnes of pigeon peas this year and the process has started, she added.