MINISTER for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperative Christopher Chiza has expressed concern over local farmers getting less profit from food crops exportation to the Southern Sudan market.
Engineer Chiza said in Dar es Salaam that most foreign traders were tremendously benefiting from the reliable market yet local farmers get less profit because they sell their food crops at a lower price.
"It is high time local farmers should stop selling crops while still at farms and grab this opportunity by starting to process and export food crops to the reliable market of Southern Sudan," said the Minister.
Eng Chiza was speaking during a send off ceremony of 18 farmers and traders to the Southern Sudan's capital city of Juba for the annual trade fair whereby the team would have an opportunity to showcase their crops.
He said the trip follows an invitation from his counterpart of Southern Sudan, Ms Betty Achan Ogwaro while attending the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) conference in Arusha recently. "She requested for Tanzanian farmers and traders to attend the Annual Trade Fair in Juba to start today in order to witness the value of their food crops," said Eng Chiza.
He added that the Southern Sudan minister told him that most of the cash crops from Tanzanian are sold at higher price because of its superior quality yet she has never seen any Tanzanian trader in the market. "This is just the beginning, the ministry will be arranging trips for local farmers and traders frequently," he said.
Mr William Mbogo, who is one of the farmers in the delegation, said the trip would be an ideal platform for them to exchange experiences with other traders, saying he was optimistic to start exporting food crops after the trip. "The trip will provide us with opportunity to learn from other farmers hence to expand our food crops market," he said.
The delegation that left for Juba is led by Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperative, Eng Mbogo Futakamba and two Districts Commissioners - Betty Mkwasa (Bahi) and Cosmas Kayombo (Kakonko).
The farmers come from Dodoma, Morogoro, Arusha, Katavi, Kagera, Iringa, Rukwa, Katavi and Kigoma regions. The deputation returns home next Monday.