Govt eyes foreign markets for excess peas, tobacco

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PRIME Minister, Kassim Majaliwa said the government is looking for foreign markets for tobacco and peas as farmers are realising bumper harvests.

Responding to spontaneous questions to the Premier in Parliament here yesterday, Majaliwa said as for tobacco, the farmers produced 30 per cent surplus of what they had been contracted to.

He said in Tabora, tobacco farmers are having farming contracts with buyers who tell them the exact amount they are going to buy, prior to the farming season.

The Premier said since the companies could not buy more than what they budgeted for, the government has to look into alternatives to support the farmers get markets.

He was responding to Munde Tambwe (Special Seats-CCM) who wanted to know measures being taken by the government to assist Tabora tobacco farmers get markets.

Mr Majaliwa said when they contacted the buyers, they wanted to buy the products at low prices thus they are now in discussions with other interested foreign buyers, so that the farmers get better prices.

He said Indonesia has shown interest in the tobacco and they are now negotiating on prices, whereas Egypt, Iran and China have as well contacted to see if they can as well buy the tobacco.

As for peas, Ms Pauline Gekul (Babati-Chadema) said the products are rotting in warehouse as they have no any clue of what is happening after India which was the major buyer of the product, pulled out this time around.

Answering, Mr Majaliwa said it was unfortunate that India which was the major buyer of peas produced surplus, thus failed to meet the local market demand. He said negotiations are underway with a number of countries to see how best they can buy the peas and he called for patience among farmers.

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