SESAME farmers in southern regions have been urged to stop selling the oil crop to middlemen who underpay them and instead sell it at the indicative price set by the government.
That was said by Lindi Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Ludovick Mwananzila, in an interview with the 'Daily News' when reacting to complaints by farmers over insignificant benefits they were getting from sesame farming.
"We have set an indicative price of 2,500/- per kilo for all buyers of the sesame oil crop but some small traders have been coming here and trying to buy the crop at a price less than the one we have set and after that they go and sell it at a higher price to merchants," he said.
He urged farmers to sell the crop at the indicative price for their own benefit as there were enough agents assigned by the government for the purpose.
However, speaking earlier with the 'Daily News', one of the middlemen who identified himself as Matipwa Matipwa, a resident of Kibiti in Rufiji district, Coast region, said that they were forced to buy the crop from farmers at the low price of 2,200/- or even lower than that because there were not enough agents.
"After buying and transporting the crop from farmers we also go and sell it to other agents earmarked by the government.
Due to the limited number of buyers, having in mind that supply is higher than demand, the price will always remain low," he said.
An aggravated farmer, Mr Ndatulu Charles, pointed out that despite much effort he put in the farming of the crop the benefits he were deriving from his labour were minimal because they sold at a very low price.