TCB rejects motion to abandon contract farming

Tanzania Cotton Board has rejected a proposal to abandon contract farming that was made by some cotton stakeholders in the Lake Zone.

The TCB Chairperson Festus Limbu issued the remarks   in Mwanza City during a cotton stakeholder’s consultative meeting.

It was attended by representatives from cotton growing areas, local authorities and Regional and District Commissioners. 

The chairperson said the idea to abandon contract farming that was presented a few days ago by some representatives from Tanzania Cotton Association (TCA) and cotton business people (TACOGA) was unsound.

“It is not true that the cotton growers are against the contract farming, instead it is only a few people who are proposing such kind of unrealistic idea. 

The government and cotton growers themselves have found contract farming very useful and it cannot be abandoned at the moment,” says Mr Limbu.

On 20th October, this year, representatives from both TCA and TACOGA held a meeting in Mwanza and resolved immediate abandonment of the farming .

They claimed that it was enduring many hurdles that were insurmountable.

However, Mr Limbu explicitly stated that contract farming is simply experiencing some challenges; many of them are already being addressed by the government in collaboration with other key players.

The TCB Director Macro Mtunga reaffirmed same sentiments, saying some of the private companies had entered a contract with farmers to supply seeds and other agricultural implements, but the former have sometimes failed to fulfill their duty and hence causing inconveniences to the farmers.

Most participants, including RCs and DCs reiterated the need to further strengthen contract farming and also come out with viable solutions to address daunting challenges facing it.

Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Eng. Evarist Ndikilo expressed the need for all cotton stakeholders to play a decisive role to support contract farming and also ensure that the cotton farmers benefit from contract farming and not otherwise.

“Contract farming, for example, has benefited many cotton farmers in Simiyu region and therefore I’m really surprised to hear some people contemplating to abandon it. Such an idea is unrealistic and will not at all benefit our farmers,” said RC for Simiyu Paschal Mabiti.
Source: The Daily News, http://www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Dassu Stephen in Mwanza
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