Iringa — The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (Sagcot) has been urged to collaborate with other stakeholders to find a lasting solution to challenges raised during the just ended annual review meeting in Iringa municipality.
Closing the two-day Annual Cluster Review Meeting of the Sagcot in Iringa Municipality yesterday, the Iringa Regional Commissioner, Ms Amina Masenza, said the farmers challenges raised during meeting need permanent solutions.
"Every stakeholder, under the Sagcot support, needs to address the challenges raised in our meeting. The central government, local government, private sector should also work on specific challenges that fall in their mandate," she said.
One of challenges that she said needed a quickly be settled was the tendency by most of the buyers of Irish potatoes to force the farmers to over package sacks.
The over packaged sacks famously known in Kiswahili as Lumbesa vary in weight, making it possible for both buyers and sellers to be losers.
"To use Lumbesa as a weight measurement per unit price especially for the Irish potatoes is a simply theft and the farmers are always losers, so let me call on all government leaders to ensure that this is reversed," said.
On poor road network in Ihemi and Mbalali cluster regions of Mbeya, Njombe, Songea, Mbeya and Songwe, the RC called on the Tanzania Rural-Urban Road Agency (Tarura) to ensure that they mobilise more resources and investors to connect the areas.
She pleaded with the Sagcot's Catalytic Trust Fund (Sagcot CTF) Managing Director, Mr John Kyaruzi, to visit the Ihemi and Mbalali clusters to educate the farmers on criteria for being eligible for funding.
The Regional Commissioner called on the tropical Pesticides Research Institute to do more in educating the farmers, extension officers and pesticides sellers in the area in order to get rid of the pests destroying crops and killing animals.
"The institute has an obligation to provide education for all players in the agricultural sector in this region. We want to eradicate all pests, a move that will help our farmers," she said.
The two-day meeting, which ended yesterday brought together various personalities including stakeholders from public sector, private sector and consumers to discuss farmers challenges.