TANZANIA – Tanzania is celebrating a bumper harvest in rice that has led to a significant drop in price by 25% at wholesale markets.
The report follows a recent spot survey by the Daily News that showed that the wholesale price of rice grade one rice dropped to 260,000/- (US$104) from 350,000/ (US$140 – per 100-kilogram sack two months ago, a whopping 25%.
The price of middle grade decreased to 220,000/ (US$ 88) -from 280,000/ (US$112)- and low grade decreased to 210,000/-from 240,000/-.
The price currently ranges between 2,100/- and 2,600/- per kilo compared to the ranges of 2,500/-and 3,500/- per kilo in February.
The survey is in line with the recent USDA report that projected rice production in MY 2023/24 to increase by roughly 9% year-on-year to 2.4 million MT as the area harvested returns to historical levels after declining in MY 2022/23.
USDA attributed with surge in production to the government’s initiative to support irrigation schemes in the Southern Highlands which has motivated more farmers to restore the area harvested to 1.1 million hectares.
In Tanzania, rice is one of the main foods and cash crops cultivated by both medium and small-scale farmers.
Recently, the country envisaged significant changes in the use of agricultural technology to enable an increase in rice production from less than 2.5 tonnes per hectare to five tonnes or more by 2030, to double local production.
According to traders, the efforts have bored fruits with Edward Ngonyani, Tandale’s market trader saying that the business is flourishing as buyers have increased due to low prices.
“The business is good because there are many consumers attracted by the price. The price is customer-friendly compared to the period when the supply is low,” Mr Ngonyani told Daily News during the spot survey.
Tandale is the largest cereal market in Dar es Salaam and receives supply—especially rice from Kilombero, Ifakara, Dakawa and Malolo in Morogoro; Kyela and Mbarali in Mbeya, Shinyanga, and Kahama; Mwanza and Ruvu in Coast.
Mr Ngonyani said due to favourable prices they are now selling around 20 sacks a day compared to 12 sacks during a low season almost two months ago.
Additionally, the market currently receives between 15 and 20 trucks a day compared to eight a day two months ago, with the capacity of carrying between 20 and 25 tonnes each.