FARMERS have been warned against engaging middlemen when selling their crops, as it means loss for them and is against the government’s guidelines.
The advice was given in Galapo Ward by leaders of cooperative societies to Galapo Mixed Crops Cooperative Society at an auction that took place in the ward.
The leaders said the middlemen had been exploiting farmers by buying crops cheaply and selling to traders at a profit.
Cooperative societies acting registrar in Manyara Region Venance Msafiri urged the farmers to be firm so that they could not be exploited.
He also warned the middlemen of not misleading farmers.
It was said that the middlemen purchased a bag of sunflower at 120,000/- while traders at auctions purchased it 188,700/-.
Therefore, the farmers were advised to ensure they took their crops directly to auctions.
Mr Msafiri said the mid- dlemen distorted information about a warehouse receipt sys- tem, calling upon those who were well informed about the system to sensitise others.
He explained that they had initiated an online auction that enabled the farmers to sell sunflower directly to traders and benefited from it, while if they did it through the middle- men they would have been exploited.
“You no longer have to wait for between five months and a year to get paid for the crops you sold.
You will be paid right away after selling your crops. Nobody should come and deceive you,” warned the registrar.
Mr Msafiri told the farm- ers that if they utilised the warehouse receipt system, they could effectively control the middlemen and get them out of their way.
Babati District Head of Agriculture Department Getrida Kyakaka appealed for unity among the farmers so that they could eradicate the middlemen and sell their sunflower directly to traders.
She called on the farmers who had their sunflower in a warehouse and were not mem- bers of the cooperative society to join it promptly as there were many advantages. “You will benefit a lot if you work as a group and sell your produce at one point. If you have not joined the co- operative society do so now.
Under this system you will get high yield and make more money,” said Ms Kyakaka.
Mr John Joseph from Galapo said by being a member of the cooperative society he had benefited a lot and had since not made any loss.
He said all farmers should be under one umbrella and their lives would be better.
He said the middlemen were sharp, arrived at auctions early and deceived some farmers who were not well informed about the business.