Monday, June 8, 2015

Farmers in Southern Highland regions not honoured

FARMERS from Mbeya, Iringa na Njombe Southern Highland regions have directed the concerned national agricultural bodies to do all they can in order to strengthen an effective cooperation between farmers and crop buyers in the country. The concern was made during an agricultural stakeholders meeting which was held last week in Dodoma, the meeting which was sponsored  by the United Nations International World Food Programme (WFP) discussed various challenges which are emerging during an exercise of buying maize for National Food Reserve Authority (NFRA) for 2014 harvesting period. A two day meeting enjoined leaders of various agricultural groups that include, cooperative societies, SACCOS and AMCOS. Others were NFRA executives from all seven zones in the country. In the meeting farmers underscored the need of promoting the sector so as to bring closer cooperation among stakeholders who engage in buying and selling most valuable agricultural products. However, in spite of having many discussions most of the issues discussed were based on failure by NFRA staff to stand for 5their responsibilities to the general public, as many farmers wanted to know steps taken so far against those seen to have intentionally done mistakes. The Chairman of the taskforce from Mtwango in Njombe district Hars Luwanja told the meeting that although the NFRA at Makambako zone has many buying centres nothing is being reinforced top effectively to ensure accountability. He has however, thanked the NFRA zonal Manager Alhaji Abdullah Nyangassa for taking into account various claims by small scale farmers in the region. “We as groups representing small scale farmers had put in place a procedure of helping small scale farmers to present their issues to the Manager Nyangassa but certainly he attentively listened tio the claims and worked on them as required” said Luwanja.   Luwanja who is also a Board member of of the farmers Association known in Kiswajhhili acronym MVIWATA in Njombe region said that the voice of Alhaji Nyangassa to NFRA workers was enough to console farmers who showed disappointment after having seen the market by NFRA does not benefit them. Ignus Mwalongo, a representative of farmers from Ileje and Mbozi districts said that the implantation in government sector deserve no rights, and instead every staff who is given such an opportunity he or she is ought to stand for giving the rights to issue such services to the community.

“Basically the community ought to understand that a designation is like a bond and that there are some people who do not understand this, except farmers who get assistance from Makambako zone being spearheaded by Alhaji Nyangassa.  He added by saying that although all these things have gone better at Makambako but he complained with the NFRA staff performance at Isongole in Ileje and Vwawa in Mbozi districts for their failure to give better servicers to farmers and instead they discriminated people by looking at their welfare and economic gain an aspect that has deteriorated people’s dignity. The Chairman of small scale farmers of both Ilkolo and Iringa rural Johaness Mhanga said that although every NFRA’s manager who stands for buying processes would get  away from the bureaucracy in their areas, then farmers would be benefitting from the implementation of ‘Kilimo Kwanza’ programme. “I hope each and every one of us recognizes the importance of Kilimo Kwanza programme and that bureaucracy does not go alongside with the policy, in view of this I am advising those who still have the mindset of practicing such a habit especially to farmers due to their extreme poverty is not fit to continue with the responsibilities at NFRA”, Mhanga said. He said traders who sell their maize after having entered into a contract with NFRA as agents told this paper that, “the implementation of the issue at NFRA in Makambako zone are so transparent in such away that6, farmers have realized the NFRA’s officers as their close friends. Jamali Hassan and Ayoub Mkombwa said that, NFRA has shown the way and wanted other government institutions to learn and make reforms in their areas for improvements as there is nothing that cannot be done if the government t would resolve to make strong decisions.When asked by this paper to evaluate his performance following how her is being praised by many groups, Alhaji Nyangassa noted that he has a put in place a normal procedure of doing his job and does not have a habit to discriminate others who come to him for help. “You know our primary task is to give services to the people and have seen the need to promote the services to the people especially farmers to the upmost level standard, we give services to farmers to a most high level standards as farmers are in need of NFRA and likewise the authority is also in need of farmers in the country and vice versa”, he said.

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