Bad roads cost Mvomero farmers 30,000 tonnes of veg annually

Mvomero’s farmers in Morogoro are losing an average of 30,000 tonnes of vegetables a year due to bad roads which bar them from reaching markets in townships and cities.

The farmers, in three villages of Tchenzema ward, Mgeta division, are sometimes forced to throw their produce midway to markets as vehicles are breaking down due to bad roads leading to mainly Morogoro and Dar es Salaam markets.

The Tchezema Ward chairman, Mr Sist Mkude, said every year vegetable farmers experience bumper harvest but fail to sell their produces, in and outside Mvomero, held back by poor road condition—in most cases are impassable.

“We harvest different kinds of vegetables, and fruits, most of which get rotten and wasted,” Mr Mkude, who is a vegetable farmer, said adding:

“This is due to the lack of reliable market access as taking them to the market is impeded by bad roads.”

He said in most cases trucks fail to reach their villages completely or on time and if managed they broke down midway.

The Ward Chair spoke last Saturday in a meeting held in Kibagala village, Tchenzema ward, Mgeta which discussed challenges faced by farmers and ways of addressing them.

The meeting was organised by the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) in collaboration with the national network of farmers’ groups in Tanzania (Mviwata).

Another farmer, Mr Prosper Ngatigwa, asked for the government to intervene to make sure that roads in Mvomero are passable full time a year to avert post-harvest crisis.

“We are asking for government intervention and at least repair roads to enable us to transport our vegetables to different markets in the country,” Mr Ngatigwa said.

The villager said to reach the market they have to hire motorcycles popular as bodaboda, paying 10,000/- for a sack to Mlali ward in Kongwa district, Dodoma. The amount is too high for them to sustain any profit.

The farmers are cultivating carrots, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, peas, legumes, beetroot, corn, and leafy vegetables.

The Tchezema Ward Councillor, Mr Timoth Machonga said to villagers that Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA) in Mvomero allocated 400m/- for rehabilitating roads in the district and a contractor has already been picked for the job.

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