5 August 2014

Tanzania: Lake Zone Expo Gains Momentum

Mswanza — THE Agri-Business exhibitions for the Lake Zone regions are slowly gaining momentum here with some of the key exhibitors failing to show up for a number of reasons.

A survey by the 'Daily News' has established that while more visitors are visiting the pavilions of their choice, some are questioning the absence of the stakeholders like the Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) The Lake Zone is one of the areas whose residents are involved in coffee farming which is one of the country's major cash crops.

TCB Zonal Manager which comprises of Mara, Geita, Mwanza and Kagera regions told the 'Daily News' during a phone interview and confirmed that his board was not able to participate in this year's exhibitions.

"It is true we have not participated this year although plans are underway for the board to take part in the future exhibitions. But we are participating in other ongoing events in Arusha, Dodoma and Lindi," he said.

However, Mr Massawe could not give more insights as to why his office which is an important body for the development of the agricultural sector has failed to show up but to some visitors the scenario leaves a lot to be desired.

Commenting on the matter, the Tarime District Agriculture, Irrigation and Cooperative Officer (DAICO), Mr Sylivanus Gwiboah, said it was unfortunate that agricultural stakeholders like TCB can miss in such important seasonal events.

According to him, coffee farmers need more education on the adoption of best practices like application of modern farming of the crop which is slowly picking up and its price improving in the world market.

He said Mara Zone was still far behind in making sure coffee farmers apply modern technology particularly on the area of value addition and value chain.

Coffee growers he insisted, are still applying outdated farming methods leading to poor prices of raw coffee for the currant marketing season going up to December, this year.

"We are still suffering from poor prices currently ranging from 600/- to 700/- per kg but efforts are going on in Tarime for instance where farmers are now supported to improve the value of the crop," he remarked.

Shortage of the funds for farmer's education programmes was another area that threatens the smooth progresses that was recorded before during the implementation of the Agriculture Sector Development Programme (ASDP).

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