THE government has set up a plan aimed at establishing grain warehouses in various strategic areas in the country, an initiative that is expected to cost 55 million Euros( 155.67bn/-), Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Mr Charles Mwijage has said.
The minister revealed the plan in Dar es Salaam yesterday, explaining that the government had set aside the funds for the project whose implementation will be launched by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa in Dodoma next month. The minister sketched highlights of the plan while of- ficiating at the Eastern Grain Council Annual Members and Stakeholders Luncheon in the city.
He said in the 2017/18 harvest season, the government estimated to produce sur- plus of maize and rice among other crops, a situation that compelled the nation to have enough ware- house facilities.
"As a country, we are proud of our status as a major agricultural producer in eastern Africa; we produce surpluses of maize, rice, pulses, tea and coffee, amongst other crops," he said.
On the other hand, the minister said that the ministry had partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Eastern Africa Grain Council to develop the Pulses Value Chain Road Map 2016-2020.
He said the road map provided a guiding framework for promoting international trade in pulses commodities to seize the advantage of opportunities in the international market.
"In this area, I must take this opportunity to recognize the support from the Eastern Africa Grain Council in the implementation of the road map," he said.
Mr Mwijage furthermore explained that the EAGC had been instrumental in the government’s efforts to provide markets for pulses produced in Tanzania, exemplified by their efforts to find markets for pigeon peas farmers and eliminating technical barriers to international trade in pulses.
Speaking during the event, the Chairman of Eastern Afri- can Grain Council, Mr Eugene Rwibasira, said the focus of the annual meeting was to discuss and deliberate on the role of regional agricultural commodity trade in the develop- ment of agro industries in Eastern Africa.