TANZANIA – Tanzania’s Cereal Produce Board (CPB) Zonal Office has embarked on a drive to recruit private buyers at the grassroots level in a bid to enhance market access for farmers in Southern Highlands regions.

The move follows the anticipated bumper production for cereals and other crops in the country due to the ongoing boost in the agricultural sector.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Daily News TZ, Dr. Jaspa Samwel, the CPB Southern Highlands Zonal Manager noted that the state has dished 900bn/- (US$385M) for the 2023/24 fiscal year in the agricultural sector.

According to Jaspa, the investment is aimed at boosting crop production per acre, increasing cultivated land across the country, and more than triple land under irrigation.

 Founded in 2009, CPB is a parastatal charged with the task of purchasing from peasants and commercial farmers of both cereals and other produces then processing and packaging the same for both local consumption and exports

Dr. Jaspa noted that the installed capacity does not match the market demand from both local and foreign customers with foreign customers coming as far as Malawi, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and South Sudan only a few to mention.

He added that it is due to this development of ever-growing customer demands the CPB Head Office management has resolved to work on purchasing and installing a new milling and packaging line for Southern Highlands Zone.

In addition, the move to recruit private partners aims at supporting the national agricultural sector development drive codenamed ‘Agenda 1030’ that focuses on bringing about a scientific revolution in the country’s agricultural sector.

By having private buyers spread across six regions in the southern Highland regions, Jaspa said that the agency is optimistic that the move will have a triple economic impact that will benefit all stakeholders along the value chain.

Dr. Jaspa said that the move will help the cereals board serve better in terms of both spreading its network closer to peasants and commercial farmers and providing them with a reliable market for their agro-produce.

The CPB has earmarked Iringa, Njombe, Mbeya, Songwe, Rukwa, and Ruvuma in the Southern Highlands regions.

In addition, the agency revealed plans to install a new processing machine line at the Iringa CPB Zonal compound to supplement the existing processing and packaging plant installed in 1976

“Currently we have a maize-flour milling and packaging line of yester-technology which serves us better only that it has a limited milling capacity of 50 to 55 tonnes of maize a day, giving out about 45 tonnes of quality ‘Nguvu brand’ maize flour,” he said.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel