Friday, May 20, 2016
The alarming maize prices in Rukwa region
THE price of maize in Rukwa Region has sharply decreased during this harvesting season due to lack of reliable markets. Interviewed farmers in the most growing areas in the region have admitted that a 100-kilogramme bag of maize is now sold between 20,000/- to 25,000/- compared to 60,000/- in the past season. The survey indicates that in rural areas farmers are selling the crop at throw-away prices to the middlemen. Some middlemen interviewed said they started buying maize directly from farmers in villages ahead of the National Food Reserve Agency - Sumbwanga Zone, which normally purchases crops starting July.
Several farmers said they are forced to sell their crop at throw-away prices to meet basic needs. According to the Acting National Food Reserve Agency – Sumbawanga Zone Manager, Chacha Range, this season maize buying his organisation plans to purchase 25,000 tons compared to 60,000 tons bought in the past season. Meanwhile, the retail price of ‘Kigoma sardines’ continues to increase in Sumbawanga Town due to scarcity. The sardines are now being sold at between 20,000/- to 22,000/- per kilogramme compared to 8,000/- five months ago.