CPB to recruit private cereals buyers in six regions

CEREALS and Other Produce Board of Tanzania (CPB) Zonal Office has embarked on a recruitment drive of private buyers at the grassroots aimed at striking a win-win partnership and ending market problems for peasants and commercial farmers of cereals and other produce in Southern Highlands regions.

The Southern Highlands regions targeted are namely Iringa, Njombe, Mbeya, Songwe, Rukwa and Ruvuma regions.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’ in Iringa Municipality recently, the CPB Southern Highlands Zonal Manager, Dr Jaspa Samwel, said the move aims at supporting the national agricultural sector development drive codenamed ‘Agenda 1030’ that focuses on bringing about a scientific revolution in the country’s agricultural sector.

“By recruiting private buyers for cereals and other crops at the grassroots level to work for CPB, it will help the crops board serve better in terms of both spreading its network closer to peasants and commercial farmers and providing them with a reliable market for their agro-produce,” he said.

Dr Samwel noted that the state has dished 900bn/-for the 2023/24 fiscal year in the agricultural sector. The goal is to boost crop production per acre, increase cultivated land across the country and more than triple the irrigated lands.

He said the move will see Tanzania enjoy bumper cereals and other agro-produces harvests in a few months, adding that CPB as a public agency tasked with buying and processing cereals and other agro-produces is ready to buy crops for the good of both farmers and the nation.

“The government’s motive to form CPB was to both offer a fair and reliable market for peasants and commercial farmers for their agro-produces and secondly to process the same, package and sell to Tanzanians at minimal and affordable prices,” he said.

He added that with private buyers spread at the grass roots level in all six regions forming the CPB Southern Highlands, the move will have a triple economic impact to benefit individual peasants, commercial farmers, primary co-operative societies and local government councils for all of them receiving their fair share of income and revenues smoothly and abundantly.

Dr Samwel said further that in a bid to see CPB improves efficiency in the processing and packaging of cereals and other products, plans are afoot to install a new processing machine line at Iringa CPB Zonal compound to supplement the existing processing and packaging plant installed in 1976.

“Currently we have a maize-flour milling and packaging line of yester-technology which serves us better only that it has a limited milling capacity of 50 to 55 tonnes of maize a day, giving out about 45 tonnes of quality  ‘Nguvu brand’ maize flour,” he said.

Dr Samwel noted that the installed capacity does not match the market demand from both local and foreign customers with foreign customers coming as far as Malawi, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan only a few to mention.

He added that it is due to this development of ever-growing customer demands the CPB Head Office management has resolved to work on purchasing and installing a new milling and packaging line for Southern Highlands Zone.

CPB is a parastatal established in 2009 through the Parliament Act number 19. The parastatal is charged with the task of purchasing from peasants and commercial farmers of both cereals and other produces then processing and packaging the same for both local consumption and exports.

CPB is the successor of the ex-National Milling Corporation (NMC) and the General Agricultural Produces Export Corporation (GAPEX).

Both NMC and GAPEX were formed in the mid-70s and operated through the mid-1980s’.

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