THE retail prices of maize in Rukwa Region have abruptly tripled to 60,000/- per 100 kilogrammes a sack. The prices skyrocketed after National Food Reserve Agency (NRFA) zone office in Sumbawanga, Rukwa announced to start the crop from yesterday that sent middlemen to the rural looking for the maize.
The NFRA, Sumbawanga Zone Manager, Mr Range Marwa, told this paper that the maize purchasing season takes off officially yesterday.
The manager said a kilo will be purchased at 500/- in urban areas while in rural at 450/- for both Rukwa and Katavi regions respectively. The food agency expected to purchase 3,500 tonnes due to financial constraints but added that the target is to buy 35,000 tonnes.
The Daily News’ two days spot survey showed that the prices climbed rapidly from 20,000/- a sack to 60,000/- which is blessed for farmers in the area.
A farmer from Ulumi Village in Kalambo District, Mr Chazya John said the low prices have attracted not only NRFA but also buyers form northern zone, especially Arusha.
“This is blessing for us. We are seeing a number of business people rushing to our villages pushing up prices three times,” Mr John told ‘Daily News’. Mr John sentiment was also seconded by Festo Mukondya and Sipieta John both from Ulumi Village in Kalambo District.
The purchasing exercises will be conducted at centres in Mazwi, Sumbawanga municipality, Laela and Mtowisa in Sumbawanga District Council and Mwimbi in Kalambo District Council in Rukwa. He said Katavi region has only one purchasing centre located at Kibaoni Ward.