Why the lucrative export market remains elusive for small producers
Bottlenecks that hamper smallholders arise from prohibitive policies and regulations that stakeholders now want to review to facilitate marketing and trade. Tariff and non-tariff barriers such as taxes and levies are said to be the culprits.
In addition, there is a need to reduce bureaucratic procedures in order to make small producers more competitive for both domestic and export markets. Public-private partnerships should be encouraged to increase investment.
Speaking recently in Dar es Salaam at the Policy Forum’s Breakfast Debate focused on National and Export Markets titled “What are the challenges facing smallholder producers (SHP)? The Executive Director of the Forum of Agricultural Non-State Actors (ANSAF), Audax Rukonge said that smallholders producers are at the heart of an inclusive and essential development process for two essential reasons: as food producers contributing to national food security and income generation.
Small producers include farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, hunter-gatherers and fishermen. They are all characterized by small production volumes of varying quality.
“Increasingly, SHPs are becoming surplus producers of major staple foods and there are increasing trends in the production of lucrative crops like horticulture,” he said.
However, Rukonge said that although SHPs produce more than 80% of the food consumed locally, their participation, especially women and young people in local, national and global markets, has been dismal, mainly because they are not. well organized for collective actions.
“Higher quality standards, higher value products, traceability and contracts are all part of the game in domestic and international markets,” he said.
“Small producers are not homogeneous and therefore face different sets of constraints for their participation in markets.”
According to Rukonge, the unpredictability of political decisions that sometimes change over the span of a year are other challenges that small hydropower plants face in responding to foreign markets.
He also listed limited knowledge and skills in good agricultural practices, small tradable volumes of low quality, risks to crops and animals and market price volatility as additional bottlenecks.
Others include poor infrastructure, inadequate transportation and electricity supply, and limited support services in research, extension, financial services and insurance.
Unstructured marketing systems, limited market information and ICT applications, and the predominance of middlemen or middlemen were also on the long list of challenges.
He said high tariffs and non-tariff barriers and lengthy bureaucratic procedures increase transaction costs and reduce SHP revenues. Access to financial services and insurance, namely the production of loan portfolios against the process and the retail market, resulting in higher interest rates.
Tanzania Rice Council (RCT) President Julius Wambura commended the government for bringing together the different groups of smallholder farmers under the umbrella of Cooperative Agricultural Marketing Societies (AMCOS).
Wambura said small Tanzanian producers do not meet the demands of international markets because they are fragmented.
“Highly structured markets need homogeneity and consistency,” he said.
He said the private sector has a role to play in creating green managers whose main role is to invest in silos to conserve smallholder produce to make it easy for exporters to get well-stored crops for the market. ‘export.
“We really miss these green managers in the market supply chain. Their presence will help deliver the necessary crops to international markets on time, ”he said.
Wambura urged the private sector to work closely with the government to promote business oriented. These will help to understand the environment and the requirements of external market trends.
He said it was time for Tanzania as a country to mark its crops for export. If it is rice, for example, he suggested that one variety be chosen and marked for export instead of mixing different varieties that ultimately fail in the international market.
“We cannot enter international markets because we are producing what is not in demand there,” he said.
He suggested that Tanzania could promote a variety of rice known as SARO 5, or TXD306 which he says gives a lot of yields compared to other varieties. The variety is cultivated in Morogoro and the southern highlands regions of Iringa, Mbeya and Songwe.
“Foreign markets do not require mixed varieties of rice; therefore, we must have a variety as a brand from Tanzania for export. It can also be done with other cultures, ”he said.
Africa, including Tanzania, has a food deficit. According to 2020 African Rice Development Coalition data, Africa imported rice worth $ 6.4 billion. So with this data the rice market is huge, what is required is the brand and the quality of this product.
Recently, the National Assembly ratified the African Continental Free Trade Zones targeting Africa’s population of around 1.3 billion people. Thanks to this market, African countries will be able to accumulate approximately $ 3.4 trillion.
Marceline Kibena, a farmer from the Morogoro region urged the government to adhere to the Maputo Declaration which it ratified by allocating more funds to agriculture.
“And parliament should ensure that the allocated funds are actually disbursed and reach the targeted areas,” he said.
The Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security was officially adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in 2003 with two main objectives: to achieve an annual agricultural growth rate of 6 per cent. percent at the national level and allocate 10 percent of budget resources to the agricultural sector.