M a r k e t N e w s

Tanzania: Fertiliser Price Regulation Step in Right Direction

Posted on : Friday, 25th November 2016

 Agriculture is the mainstay of the Tanzanian economy, employing about 72 per cent of the workforce and contributing up to 80 per cent of export earnings and over 90 per cent of all food requirements.

Low productivity and poverty are two glaring features of the sector which is dominated by small-scale farmers and is mainly rain-fed and therefore, vulnerable to weather vagaries.
It is difficult to tell exactly what comes first between low productivity and poverty among the small-scale farmers but they are in a kind of symbiotic relationship with one reinforcing the other.
However, what is obvious as among causes of lower productivity in the sector is low consumption of fertilisers. According to World Bank data, Tanzania is among countries with lowest fertiliser consumption where farmers use an average of 3.7 kilogramme per hectare of land. One of the main reasons is high prices of the product, which make them unaffordable to the farmers.
It is against this backdrop that we greet the launch of the new board of directors of Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority (TFRA) and the directive to regulate fertiliser prices by setting indicative prices.
Speaking during the launch of the new board in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Charles Tizeba, said for some years now, there have been no proper and specific setting of fertiliser prices and that the government has been spending billions of shillings to subsidise fertiliser prices.
He urged the board to go through the fertiliser Act, 2009 and propose reviews or amendments where necessary to make sure it helps the farmers get fertiliser at low and affordable cost.
The minister also urged the board to make a close follow up by following all fertiliser production procedures so that farmers could get quality and certified fertilisers.
We need measures that will boost production and cut down costs to make life better for our farmers and us, therefore, see the directive to regulate fertiliser prices as a step in the right direction.

Source : allafrica.com
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