Cooperative societies on firing line over sacks, ropes crisis

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THE Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Dr Mary Mwanjelwa, has directed the Register of Cooperative Societies in the country to shelve all primary society bodies in Lindi, Mtwara Region, who have caused a crisis in availability of sacks and ropes ahead of cashewnut harvesting season.

Moreover, the register, has been directed to issue a seven-day ultimatum to suppliers of sacks and ropes in the regions to make sure they are available or the tenders be cancelled.

She gave the directive yesterday following a serious shortage of the two products in the region which has caused a crisis and delayed the harvesting process.

The directive followed a supplementary question by Jerome Bwanausi (Lulindi-CCM) who said sacks and ropes shortage is a crisis that is affecting farmers especially in Masasi District, thus called for immediate interventions.

Dr Mwanjelwa said in Parliament here yesterday that on Sunday a ship with more than one million sacks and ropes will dock at Mtwara Port to address the crisis and that she will be there in person to make sure it arrives.

Moreover, she said, all primary cooperative society leaders who mishandled the share allocation to farmers should be brought before the law.

Dr Mwanjelwa also said preparations for the commodity exchange market are at an advanced stage for value addition of the crops.

She said that so far the circular to that effect is ready, Commodity Exchange Board is in place as they involve all stakeholders to ensure that when it takes off, they will be going everything in the same direction.

Moreover, she said, they are now educating cooperative societies and all concerned parties so that they become aware of the markets before the take off.

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