By Azania Post Reporter
THE government has initiated talks with four countries which have shown interest to buy tobacco produced in Tabora region and other areas in Tanzania, the Parliament was told in Dodoma today.
This was said by Prime Minister Kasim Majaliwa when responding to a question by Special Seats Legislator Munde Tambwe (CCM), who wanted the government to support farmers sell their tobacco.
“Farmers have harvested a lot of tobacco this year, a big part is still in the godown due to lack of the market, we want the government to help us in solving this issue, “she said.
Reacting Prime Minister said this season farmers cultivated more tobacco contrary to what is agreed with buyers.
Normally farmers do enter into agreement with buyers regarding total amount of tobacco to be sold, but this year it seems there are bumper harvest as a results a big chunk is still in godowns, he said.
PM Majaliwa noted that the government has established talks with four countries namely India, China, Egypt and Iran to see how they buy Tanzanian tobacco.
According to him India has shown a good response, where the Tanzanian team is now negotiating on price with buyers.
He said the government want to see farmers benefit with good price so it increase livelihood and income to the state coffers.
Already the government has directed tobacco firms in the country to purchase the cash crop through local currency instead of US Dollar in order to support farmers and making them directly benefiting from what they are producing.
The indicative price for tobacco price this season is USD 2 which is equal to between shillings 4,400 and 4,500 per kilogramme.
Recently, some tobacco dealers raised concern about the board’s move to hike price from USD 2.2 to 2.48 per Kg which caused shortage of seeds supply to farmers.
The crop which constitutes 40 percent of the country’s total export earnings has been receiving criticism across the globe.
Tobacco currently contributes $252 million in export revenues and accounts for over 70,000 jobs in direct employment to farmers across the country, according to statistics from Tanzania Revenue Authority.