Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Local Exporters Concerned Over Market Monopoly in Agro Business

EXPORTERS association has called for the need to address the excessive market monopoly in the agro-business, that has become common in some parts of the country holding back efforts to boost the sector's growth.

This was unveiled in an interview with the Tanzania Exporters Association (TANEXA) Executive Director, Mr Mtemi Laurence in Dar es Salaam on factors which were holding back the export sector growth.

"Few rich business people have been holding the lucrative business in agro-products driving out majority of the emerging small and medium traders engage the export trading," he noted.

Such monopoly was becoming unhealthy not only to exporters but largely to majority of farmers engaging in agriculture activities that employs over 70 per cent of the population. It is also playing down government efforts to alleviate poverty.

The agro-business plays an important role in export earnings and job creation. Some of the agriculture products that have fallen trap of the few business people include cashew nuts, sunflower and rice in some parts of the country.

Mr Laurence said the presence of few crop buyers in some regions, Singida which is famous for sunflower production, Mtwara and Lindi for cashew nuts, as a typical example of such monopoly which has been denying farmers gain premium returns.

The same similar situation is being noticed in areas of rice production where buyers from neighbouring countries go directly to producers due to absence of marketing centres as both parties could meet.

Also in the case of cotton farmers, they will fail to compete with best prices in the world market as they ought to submit to owners of the ginneries to decide on the pricing mechanisms.

It is high time the government reviewed the export structure which has complicated procedures for the small and medium entrepreneurs taking part in the export business. The review should go together with the creation of export awareness on how to trade profitably.

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