Thursday, June 12, 2014

JK: Farmers face numerous problems

President Jakaya Kikwete.PHOTO|FILE

President Jakaya Kikwete.PHOTO|FILE 

By Ludger Kasumuni,The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. The government is still grappling with the crop marketing problems.

The situation is happening although the government embarked on a number of crop marketing reforms.

Addressing a meeting for launching farmers’ poll results on agricultural challenges, President Jakaya Kikwete said on Tuesday that farmers were overwhelmed by crop marketing problems.

“We recognise farmers’ concern over crop marketing problems. We are working on them. In the past, when crop marketing boards were present, similar complaints occurred. When we undertook crop marketing reforms to allow private dealers, the problems recurred and linger,” said President Kikwete.

He said the government was a system to complement the warehouse receipt system. “We are committed to finding lasting solutions to farmers’ problems including those in crop marketing.”

According to him, apart from poor crop marketing, challenges affecting smallholder farmers include dependency on rains, overdependency on traditional hoes, spread of pests and diseases and low fertiliser use.

Others are poor extension services, inaccessibility to bank loans, lack of modern farming skills, low usage of better seeds and post-harvest losses. Earlier, One Africa executive director Sipho Moyo said the poll result had shown that 70 per cent of 8,894 respondents were facing serious obstacles in accessing reliable markets.