Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

4 August 2014

Tanzania: Low Turnout At Lindi Agro-Business Exhibition

Lindi — THE annual Agro-Business Exhibitions which started here at Ngongo Grounds on Friday have entered its third day on Sunday with low turnout from both exhibitors and visitors.

The attendance was low as a spot check by the 'Daily News' established that most of the pavilions were erected but despite the presence of few exhibitors, visitors on the other side did not show up.

The number of exhibitors who mostly put on their corporate T-Shirts was seen in Lindi town and others in recreational places saying there was nothing to do at the grounds.

It was only district councils' pavilions which were seen to be somehow busy, but those who filled the pavilions were just employees from the said districts.

A cross-section of exhibitors interviewed by this paper observed that they just came to Lindi to have their programme accomplished but did expect the show to have any impact.

They said that due to geographical location of the place and development of the region, a number of exhibitors had already had in their minds that the show might not succeed.

Efforts to reach the organiser, Tanzania Agricultural Society Organisation (TASO) to comment on the situation proved futile. Some Lindi residents who were interviewed by the 'Daily News' said that they were not aware of what such exhibitions could offer them.

"Just going to see what is being displayed, what does that add to my daily life? I have a number of activities here to be done, going to such shows only means time wastage," said Mzee Mrope.

He suggested that next time the exhibitions are held in the region, it would be important to first educate the residents the importance of such shows.

Another resident, Ms Amina Juma alias Mama kibonge, noted that personally she knew the importance of such exhibitions but she had nothing to go for.

"Personally I know the significance of these shows, as I have been in Dodoma for some time back and attended because my uncle had erected a food stall at the exhibition ground.

But here there is nothing that has an impact to me, that is why I don't see the essence of going there," she said.

Further survey by the 'Daily News' also established that a number of exhibitors was forced to travel to Mtwara town to secure accommodation as there are limited lodges and hotels in Lindi municipality.

The survey found out that over half of the exhibitors were accommodated in Mtwara town and over 100KM from Lindi municipality.

One of the lodge owners in Mtwara, pointed out that the exhibitions have sent a clear message that there was an opportunity in Lindi which serious people have to immediately take up.

Mtwara, according to the survey has more lodges and hotels than Lindi, however the cost remained high as a standard room could costs between 30,000/- and 40,000/-.

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