A local brewery providing a reliable market to barley farmers in Tanzania shows how a country, farmers and industry can benefit from partnerships in the farming sector.
The Tanzanian Daily News recently reported of the Tanzanian Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Charles Tizeba,who said Tanzanian barley farmers can improve their livelihoods by building houses, sending their children to school and buying modern farming inputs, thanks to the reliable markets provided by the Tanzanian Breweries Limited (TBL).
“TNL’s investment in agriculture is a strategy that has helped many barley farmers who are now applying modern methods of agriculture, something that has improved yields. They now harvest between 10 and 16 sacks per hectare, unlike previously where they would get five sacks,” said Tizeba.
He said the partnership will encourage more farmers to take up barley farming and enables them to increase their production so the country won’t need to rely on imports.
Farmers in all production areas in Tanzania were able to produce 12 700 tons of barley in 2016 and were paid 14.7 billion shillings (US$6.6 million). This year a loan of 2.1 billion shillings (US$939 000) will enable farmers to prepare and buy inputs for the 2017 harvest.
TBL still needs to import barley for its annual need of 18 000 tons, with farmers only able to produce an average of 10 000 tons.
The minister also encouraged role players in barley regions to do all they can so famers can increase barley production and benefit from the sector. This includes extension officers doing their part to allow farmers to benefit more. He also urged governments to improve local road infrastructure to barley farming areas, one of the main challenges farmers face.