Mwanza — WEIGHTS and Measures Agency (WMA) team has inspected 24 weighing bridges in Shinyanga, Geita, Simiyu, Mara and Mwanza regions in response to complaints by cotton farmers over the chronic tampering of weigh scales and bridges.
Speaking to reporter, WMA Technical Service Director Peter Masinga said that after complaints by cotton farmers, the agency's Chief Executive Officer formed a technical committee to inspect the weigh bridges.
"This is meant to curb the problem that has been in existence for a long time where cotton farmers and ginneries are not in good terms because of the issue of tampering with weigh bridges to deprive farmers profit," said Mr Masinga.
Mr Masinga noted that inspection of the weigh bridges will control both tampering of weigh bridges and the cotton from farmers. Farmers will not adulterate cotton by adding water, sand and stones to increase weight.
He said that the action by farmers to deliberately adulterate cotton as a way of getting back at ginneries or their agents who tamper with weigh scales has led to the country's cotton to fail to meet international standards.
Mr Masinga told reporters that the exercise will be sustainable to ensure that the country's cotton maintains international standards so that farmers get a fair deal.
ICK Oil Cotton Company Ltd Managing Director, Mr Bhawesh Gandeche made a call to the Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) to reintroduce warehouse voucher payment system if he government really wants the price of cotton to go up.
He said that this can be done through TCB by introducing village committees that supervise cotton issues at village warehouses where the cotton will be stocked waiting for the cotton season and the committee should also be mandated with setting prices.