Tanzania to Build International Grain Market in Tanga

The Tanzanian government, through its Ministry of Agriculture, has announced an ambitious plan to construct an international grain market in Tanga. This initiative, declared by the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Hussein Bashe (MP), will be realized under the 2023/2024 budget. The market is slated for development at the Horohoro border in Mkinga District, aiming to serve traders in the border area.

Minister Bashe revealed these plans on December 12, 2023, during his three-day tour in Tanga. He elaborated that this project aligns with President Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan’s strategy to strengthen international grain trade with neighboring countries. This move is expected to shield small-scale farmers from unfair pricing and market exploitation. Additionally, the market will streamline the collection of government levies, enhance foreign currency revenues, and simplify grain accessibility for traders.

Furthermore, Minister Bashe and the Regional Commissioner of Tanga, Hon. Waziri Kindamba, have agreed to expedite the land acquisition process for this market and for ‘blockfarms’ agriculture. This effort is part of the government’s broader goal, championed by President Dr. Samia, to transform Tanzania into a key player in feeding Africa and the world through commercial agriculture.

rain production in Tanzania plays a vital role in the country’s economy and food security. The country is known for producing a variety of grains, with maize being the most significant, followed by rice, wheat, and sorghum. These grains are not only essential for domestic consumption but also contribute to the country’s agricultural exports.

Primary Staple: Maize is the principal food staple in Tanzania, consumed by a majority of the population.
Production Areas: It is widely grown across the country, with significant production regions including the Southern Highlands, Lake Zone, and parts of the Northern and Central zones.
Increasing Popularity: Rice is becoming increasingly popular due to changing food preferences and urbanization.
Production Regions: Major rice-producing areas include the regions of Morogoro, Shinyanga, Mwanza, and Mbeya.
Limited Production: Wheat production is limited and mostly concentrated in the Northern highlands of the country.
Import Dependency: Tanzania imports a significant portion of its wheat to meet domestic demand, indicating potential for growth in local production.
Sorghum and Millet
Drought-Resistant Crops: These are important in arid and semi-arid areas of the country due to their drought resistance.
Nutritional Value: Both are valued for their nutritional content and are used in traditional dishes.
Agricultural Challenges
Small-Scale Farming: A large proportion of grain production is carried out by small-scale farmers.
Issues: Farmers often face challenges such as limited access to quality seeds, inadequate farming techniques, and issues related to storage and market access.
Climate Change Impacts: Changing weather patterns due to climate change are increasingly affecting grain production.
Government Initiatives
Support to Farmers: The Tanzanian government has initiated various programs to support grain farmers, including subsidies for fertilizers and improved seed varieties.
Infrastructure Development: Investment in agricultural infrastructure like irrigation and storage facilities is also a focus.
Market Expansion: Initiatives like the proposed international grain market in Tanga are part of efforts to enhance market access for farmers and stabilize grain prices.