TANZANIA Cooperative Development Commission (TCDC) has launched business guidelines on online legume auctions and other flowering plants, months after it restricted non-local firms to buy agricultural produce directly from farmers.
Registrar of Cooperative Societies and TCDC Executive Director, Dr Benson Ndiege, told reporters that the guidelines would help farmers, businesspeople and regulatory authorities.
“One of the conditions under the guidelines is that farmers will be paid through their bank accounts and this means all farmers will be required to have bank accounts," he said.
He went on to note that the aim was to address challenges that faced farmers and stakeholders especially when using the system.
The guidelines have been developed by TCDC in collaboration with the Tanzania Warehouse and Tanzania Mercantile Exchange (TMX) and will be used in warehouses in 2021.
Dr Ndiege believes the guidelines will improve efficiency and productivity especially among smallholders.
He explained that the produce would be collected from cooperative warehouses and transported to main warehouses where auctions would be conducted.
"Crops collected from cooperatives will be sent to the main warehouses where information on products received will be sent to TMX and auctioned electronically. After the auction, farmers will be paid in five working days. Local and international firms will need to subscribe to participate in auctions that will be held every week.”
Dr Ndiege explained that TMX would provide support for registration to allow farmers to sell their produce at a competitive market.
Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Warehouse Receipts Regulatory Board Asangye Bangu said the authority would ensure compliance with standards and regulations for all produce stored in warehouses.
He said the board would also supervise warehouses to ensure they released their produce on time.
TMX Chief Executive Officer Godfrey Malekano said apart from other benefits, the system was for buyers to avoid unnecessary costs, including travelling to negotiate prices with farmers.
"Buyers can participate from any part across the world," he emphasised.