THE government seeks to introduce a warehouse receipt financing system for spices and other commercial crops but stressed it will need to conduct an assessment before rolling out the plan.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe told parliamentarians that the plan will help retain a decent price for farmers who have been struggling with price volatility.
"The system will not only be for black pepper but any other commercial crops. Currently, we're expecting to lunch an international auction for tea in Dar es Salaam," he said.
"We will conduct an internal evaluation to see how we can establish warehouses systems for a particular area,” he added.
Mr Bashe's statement followed an inquiry from Ambassador Adadi Rajab (Muheza— CCM) who had raised alarm over the shrinking price of black pepper, a food and medicine crop.
The MP said the crop that used to trade at 12,000/-a kilo is down to 4,000/-.
He demanded that the government dispatch experts to study the reasons for such a massive fall in prices that could send a wrong message to farmers struggling to make a living.
In reaction, the deputy minister said their production of the crop had increased from 7,836.4 tons in 2014/15 to 12,318.3 tons in 2017/18.
In addition, there had massive production on the global scale recording 725,000 tons, up from 400,000 during the period under review.
Black pepper has the highest market and production in Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and India.
The minister, however, says the government will have to renegotiate with its trade partner countries to see whether they can increase the volume of the crop purchased annually.
Mr Bashe told MPs that Tanzania Spices Association, TASPA, is planning to provide capacity building to farmers and small scale groups to improve their farming and storage facilities to catch up with the changing market demands.
He announced that the government and the private sector are reviewing the spices sub-sector strategy of 2014 and horticulture development the strategy of 2012-21 to ensure it meets the actual market needs.