Contract farming can be defined as an agreement between farmers and processing and/or marketing firms for the production and supply of agricultural products, hence, reliable market to the former.
Mr Bashe was speaking in the National Assembly during question and answers session and responding to a question posed by Mussa Sima (Singida urban-CCM), who wanted to know measures taken by the government to extend contract farming in the country.
Equally, the legislator wanted to know how the government would incorporate small scale farmers in the system. Mr Bashe said contract farming ensures farmers of reliable markets, quality and timely agricultural inputs in due time, hence, there is a motivation to them.
He said the government has decided to engage in contract farming as it addresses a number of challenges, including availability of agricultural inputs to the farmers, which are well stipulated in the contracts’ terms. Moreover, he said, farmers are also availed with capital agreement as they enter into memorandum of understandings with the financial institutions, and buyers depending on the market demands.
Mr Bashe said sunflower farming has been added to the contract farming scheme in the 2021/2022 fiscal year. He said the ministry has contacted parliamentarians, Regional and District Commissioners, District Council Executive Directors and township, as well as Extension Officers to make close monitor of the contract farming agreements.
Citing a case study, Mr Bashe said wheat farmers in Manyara, Kilimanjaro and Arusha are among farmers who have benefitted from the program. The Deputy Minister further said the government in collaboration with private sector will mobilise farmers to join the programme.