Dar es Salaam. The government has urged farmers and maize traders to grab an opportunity arising from the shortage of the crop in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).
This was said by the Mtwara administrative secretary, Dr Jilly Maleko, after he received a letter from Permanent Secretary in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments) Mussa Iyombe, which directed him to inform traders and farmers about the availability of market in the neighbouring country.
According to the letter seen by The Citizen, DR Congo informed Tanzania through its embassy in the country that there was a critical shortage of maize in Haut-Katanga and Tanganyika provinces.
“I received a letter from the ministry informing me about the shortage and demand of maize in DR Congo,” Dr Maleko told The Citizen by telephone yesterday.
He has already written to ward and village executives for them to communicate with the farmers.
However, efforts to reach the PS proved futile as his mobile went unanswered.
Statistics from the ministry of Agriculture projected that Tanzania would have produced 6.3 million tonnes of maize this year against a domestic demand of 5.2 million tonnes. DR Congo produces 500,000 tonnes of maize per year, but its demand stands at 1.5 million tonnes per year, according to the Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC).