TANZANIA – The Tanzania Cereal and Other Produce Board (CPB) is looking for partners and investors along the cereals value chain to steer the body’s agenda of seamless business that guarantees farmers a market for their produce.

Speaking to stakeholders on the sidelines of the Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) conference, David Silinde, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture said that the board intends to translate into practice the objectives of the forum by including youths and women in crop production.

To achieve this, Citizen TZ reports that Silinde said that the board seeks to invest in five areas: finance, technology, harvest collectors from farmers, product distribution, and large and small-scale farmers.

The board is prepared to promote cereals and other produce which is important in food systems and contribute to the national food basket,” he said.

The move follows a recent allocation of Sh100 billion (US$ 42.4M) by the board for the purchase of strategic cereal crops from farmers around the country in a bid to achieve food security as well as boost their incomes.

By purchasing crops from local farmers for more than Sh100 billion, we’re planning to bring about a significant revolution in the field of crops and grains in general,’’ said Mr Kapenjama Ndile, the CPB Director.

Commending the conference, Silinde said that the event aims to stimulate commercial cooperation with companies that import grain from Tanzania to have sustainable food systems.

Earlier, CPB Charman, Salum Awadh Hagan had hinted that the board is looking for partners that will enable them to conduct business that guarantees farmers a market for their produce.  

Gungu Mbavu, the acting General Director of CPB had earlier revealed that the board currently deals with corn, rice, wheat, sunflower, and peas as strategic crops for the country.

However, Mbavu said that the market of these crops has witnessed a distressing service since the board has inadequate agents to distribute and sell produce received from farmers as well as those who can promptly collect produce from farmers during harvesting season.

He, however, noted that the board is making strides, as recently, they have found a partner to import 15,000 tons of wheat, adding that the mission of the board is to cooperate with the company to import 25,000 tons of the product.

He also revealed that the board has commercial agreements to sell corn in Rwanda and Burundi, where, according to him, they have been buying directly from farmers in the country.

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