Tanzania: Cotton Growers Get Important Brush-Up

THE Weights and Measures Agency (WMA), in Shinyanga Region has embarked on an awareness campaign for Kahama cotton farmers over identification of accurate weighing scales verified by the agency.

Speaking over the weekend, the Shinyanga WMA Regional Manager, Mr Elias Nyanda, said that over 20 wards in Kahama District had already been reached out by the campaign.

Scales verified by TMA must have a government seal and stickers in order to avoid tampering done by unscrupulous traders.

Before the commencement of the cotton buying season, WMA in the region conducted verification of all scales to be used by 195 Agriculture Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS), in Ushetu, Kahama Town, Msalala and Kishapu council in Shinyanga District and municipality.

"The objective is to make sure that the scales are effective and accurate in order to protect a farmer against exploitation and benefit from his/her sweat.

A farmer must be careful in reading measures during weighing exercise, thoroughness will help the farmer against exploitation and that's our main objective" Mr Nyanda said.

He reminded all cotton stakeholders that Weights and Measures Act Chapter 340 and its revised edition of 2002 had been improved and made more stringent.

According to the manager, once a buyer is found to be tampering with weighing scales and plead guilty, is liable to a fine of between 100,000/-and 20m/- depending on the magnitude of the offence.

One of the cotton farmers, Mr Joseph Nyamwanga commended WMA for the campaign, saying that it had helped farmers immensely.

"Through this campaign, we are careful and we will remain careful to make sure that we get what we deserve; we have been exploited for lack of this education," the farmer stressed.

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