State sets aside 110bn/- for grain purchases

The government set aside 110bn/- for the purchase of grain to be stored by the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) this year, Minister of State, Mr William Lukuvi, said.

He made the clarification after explanation on the subject by the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Reserve and Cooperatives, Mr Adam Malima, who informed the Parliament that in 2013/2014, the government intends to buy 200,000 tonnes of grain, while a quarter of the consignment (50,000 tonnes) will be bought from Rukwa Region.

“So far, 156,000 tonnes have been bought out of the intended 200,000 tonnes. The reserve is necessary to offset shortages at times of scarcity or regulate skyrocking retail prices.

We have storage facilities in Dodoma, Arusha, Mbeya, Shinyanga, among other centres from which distribution to places of scarcity is accomplished,” Mr Lukuvi explained.

He made it clear that out of 27bn/- that the farmers are owed by government, 25bn/- was disbursed last week and farmers especially in the major production regions had nothing to worry about.

Earlier, Mr Malima said grain purchase horizon would be extended this financial year such that the Agency would buy from farmers Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) and other sale centres.

The clarification followed a basic question by Desderius John Mipata (Nkasi South - CCM), who asked the government to help open up market for farmers in Ntuchi, Kitosi, Ifundwa, Mshilihofu, Mtapemda and Isale in Isale Ward in Katavi Region.

“In recognition of the production potential of Nkasi District, the government has opened five grain purchase centres of Namanyere, Mtenga, Ntalamila, Kasu and Swaila.

Farmers in the above-mentioned villages are requested to use Ntalamila centre to sell their products due to its proximity,” Mr Malima advised.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dodoma, Tanzania
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