TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Tanzania: Accurate timely market information necessary to farmers, SMEs

Friday, 16 December 2011

Source: Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Access to timely and accurate market information has been cited as a significant strategy for small and medium size businesses, as well as agricultural producers when expanding their trade activities in order to make economically informed decisions.

This was said yesterday in Dar es Salaam by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing, Dr Shaban Mwinjaka while officiating stakeholders' meeting on Management Information System Strategy, operational framework and prototype.

"Export led sustainable economic growth that provides for significant reduction in poverty is possible only if the majority of small and medium businesses and agricultural producers have access to market information and capacity to utilize it," Dr Mwinjaka said.

He said the market information from one place to another is essential and would open new opportunities and potentials for the SMEs and agricultural producers. Dr Mwinjaka said having precise market information database would facilitate in discovering untapped internal as well as external potentials in the East Africa Community (EAC), African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), European and Asian markets.

"Accurate market information will help rural people to know when to supply agricultural products and at what price. Likewise farmers will be informed on the availability of farm inputs and their prices," he added.

The ministry is currently looking for the possibility of establishing border markets which will be linked to district councils where it is easy to obtain first hand information on the supply of agricultural products.

A senior official from the World Bank country office Dr Josephat Kweka said effective and efficient market information system is an important tool for attaining real economic development.

"World Bank that started to support the programme in the year 2003 decided to compliment government efforts in enhancing market potentials for the locally produced products as one of the strategy in poverty alleviation," Dr Kweka said.

He said investors inject funds where there is high returns coupled with efficient markets for the goods and services. A consultant from the Data Works Associates Limited, Mr Abel Busalana said information from the markets and businesses from within and outside the country will be analysed and distributed to all stakeholders.

He said the internet services, notice boards in district councils, newspapers and mobile texting are some of the means through which the market information will be disseminated in order to reach all people.

He said the systems is expected to begin in two years time and would be undertaken by the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade) before establishing an independent institution to assume all the obligations.

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