Monday, July 7, 2014
Mengi underscores the importance of minerals in commodity exchange for Tanzania
THE Chairman of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Dr. Reginald Mengi has urged the government to think of involving gold trade and other mineral gemstones in Commodity Exchange other than agricultural commodities whose aim is to empower farmers in the country. Dr. Mengi made the remark on Friday last week in Dar es Salaam while addressing stakeholder’s consultations session on the establishment of a commodity exchange for Tanzania, participants in the session included mainly investors of the agricultural commodities such as cashew nuts, rice, sunflowers. A half day workshop under the theme titled “Private sector role in development” discussed ways on how private sector could benefit through commodity exchange programme while the government is currently preparing a legislation and a policy that would guide the operation. The programme which has been introduced by the government aims to ensure together with other things better quality of agricultural commodities sold in market, fair selling price rates, commodity standards and their grades as well as free market opportunities. In his speech, Dr.Mengi stressed the importance of trading gold and other mineral gemstones as these are also among the commodities which should not be left behind for private sector development in the country. Earlier, he highlighted some challenges facing the agricultural sector and the most daunting factor is cost of transportation for a number of bulky agricultural produce which is recorded as constituting up to 40 percent of total cost. He also noted that, access to finance that is a key for efficiency along the entire agricultural value chains is particularly problematic at the marketing level in the country. In spite of all these, he has however appreciated the government for the initiatives it has taken to overcome the impending situation.
Elaborating more on commodity exchange for Tanzania, Dr. Mengi noted that, this is a development programme that could play in the transformation of agricultural trade and is a c entre piece in the process of the agricultural sector transformation. On her part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) Ms. Masama Massinda whose organization is spearheading the programme on behalf of private sector in the country said there are a number of benefits the sector would benefit once the programme starts. She said in an exclusive interview during the workshop that, creation of jobs and better commodity price rates are among the elements that the sector should expect to get, others she note4d are farmers in the country would access of different varieties of commodities in the market. She further noted other benefits are the presence of large volumes of commodities in the market, in this aspect she elaborated that, there will be a transparency on commodity selling whereby most commodities would be fetched at a cheapest price rates. She also noted that, there would be no cheating of price as everything would be made open and the information would be scattered at all centres which would be selected as main points throughout the country.Quoting on the issue, a consultant on agricultural commodity price control Bede Lyimo has highlighted the importance of the programme and noted that, the market will be dominated with fair price rates as these are important mostly for farmers in the country. Lyimo who has been tasked by the government as a consultant to help private stakeholders in agricultural commodities and direct them in whatever ways possible. He noted that, in order to facilitate the move, the private sector needs to establish warehouses.