AGRICULTURE sector grew by an average of 5.2 per cent in the past five years and still remains one of the biggest pillars of the country’s economic growth.
And, for almost five years, products from farmers contributed about 17 per cent in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the government has said.
According to Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dotto James, the sector also raised employment opportunities by 58 per cent as of 2018.
Mr James who doubles as the country’s Pay Master General (PMG) made the speech, while officially opening the National Workshop on the implementation of Warehouse Receipt System and Tanzania Mercantile Exchange (TMX) on Sesame and Cashew nut farming products.
The workshop was organised by TMX in collaboration with other stakeholders including Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT), Warehouse Receipt Regulatory Board, Cashew nut Board of Tanzania (CBT) and Tanzania Cooperative Development Commission (TCDC).
In his speech read on his behalf by the Commissioner of Financial Sector Development, Dr Charles Mwamwaja, the PS said that between 2015 and 2019, the agriculture sector continued to grow at an average of 5.2per cent, while the sub sector of agricultural products continued growing at an average of 5.8per cent.
However, Mr James pointed out that based on the fact that the agricultural sector was key to the country’s economy, the government saw the importance of organising a workshop to convene stakeholders in Sesame and Cashew nut products so as to address the challenges in order to increase efficiency.
“Because of this, the main agenda of this meeting is to look on supervision of Warehouse Receipt System (WRC) and selling of agricultural products through TMX on Sesame and Cashewnut,’’ he noted.
According to TMX Chief Executive Officer, Godfrey Malekano, his institution was the first commodity exchange in Tanzania.
The exchange was established as a platform where farmers, traders, exporters and other various market actors should be able to access domestic and global market and obtain a fair price in selling or buying of commodities.
He insisted that TMX was an organised marketplace, providing a platform where buyers and sellers come together to trade, and become assured of quality, quantity, payment, and delivery.
Equally, he underscored the need for the government to improve the Warehouse Receipt System so as to increase efficiency to farmers and as well allow local and international businesspeople to purchase products online.