Africa News Thu, 21 May 2020

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Tanzania launches online service to boost crop production, trade

In a bid to improve crop trade in the country, the government has launched online crop marketing to unite farmers, traders and buyers across the country.

Launching the online marketing, Agriculture Minister, Mr Japhet Hasunga, said the portal will also serve as a platform for education on extension services.

"No more need to seek agricultural extension officers as people can access the portal through their mobile phones and get extension service education through the portal," said the Minister.

Mr Hasunga pointed out that among the goals of the portal is to address challenges facing small scale farmers, including shortage of agricultural extension officers.

He said the portal will enable farmers to get marketing information on crops, pointing out that among the services through the portal includes crop prices and crops available in the market at the moment.

"The portal will provide farmers with an opportunity to promote their crops and the prices," the minister observed.

He said the portal will also enable farmers to meet with crop traders and clients, saying the platform will enable farmers communicate with traders by short messages.

"The platform will enable farmers to promote their crops and meet traders and consumers," he said.

Mr Hasunga observed that the portal was prepared by Agriculture Ministry, President's Office for Regional Administration and Local Government in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF).

He said the government had commenced to test the platform yesterday in Kongwa, Bahi and Chamwino districts, saying the test exercise will last for one week.

Mr Hasunga noted that at least 35 agricultural extension officers and 45 farmers in two wards of three districts of Kongwa, Chamwino and Kongwa will get training on TOT.

He said after testing, the portal will be extended to other farmers across the country in order to enable them get access to agricultural extension services, saying the portal, MKilimo will charge on small message service (SMS).

Mr Hasunga pointed out that among the profits through the portal includes agricultural extension service education and that the system is vital at the moment as the country grapples with Covid-19.

Source: allafrica.com

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