THE agricultural sector remains one of the biggest pillars of the country’s economy, where for almost five years, products from farmers contributed about 17per cent in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the government has said.
According to the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dotto James, the sector also increased employment opportunities by 58per cent as of 2018.
Mr James who doubles as the country’s Pay Master General (PMG) was speaking during the official opening of a National Workshop on the implementation of Warehouse Receipt System and Tanzania Mercantile Exchange (TMX) on Sesame and Cashew nut farming products.
The workshop was organized 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, agriculture sector continued growing at an average of 5.2per cent, while the sub sector of agricultural products continued growing at an average of 5.8per cent.
Mr James insisted that based on the fact that the agriculture sector was key to the country’s economy, the government saw the importance of organizing 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) as well as 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 is established as a platform where farmers, traders, exporters and other various market actors are able to access domestic and global market and obtain a fair price in selling or buying of commodities.
He insisted that TMX was an organized marketplace, providing a platform where buyers and sellers come together to trade, assured of quality, quantity, payment, and delivery.
He underscored the need for the government to improve the Warehouse Receipt System so as to increase efficiency to farmers as well as allowing local and international businesspeople to purchase products online.