Liberalized Maize Marketing for Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania: Evidences from Ludewa and Sumbawanga Districts

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Since 1986, Tanzania undertook economic reforms to establish free market economy in order to stimulate economic growth. With respect to maize, policy measures were implemented through; removal of price subsidies on maize and production inputs, liberalization of the cooperative marketing system at the farmer level by removing restrictions and restructuring of the crop marketing system involving redefinition of the roles of regional cooperative unions, and the main food marketing parastatal (NMC). This paper presents findings from a study carried out in Ludewa and Sumbawanga rural districts. The study aimed at investigating the dynamics of maize marketing in the two purposely selected districts and villages. Using structured questionnaire data was collected from 115 maize farmers in the selected villages. Study results show that removal of state monopolies and the emergence of private sector in input (fertiliser) distributors, fertiliser procurement and distribution has had made majority of small-farmers in marginal areas less competitive and victimised by monopsony and oligopsony power of traders. Few farmers who can afford transporting maize to distant market records substantial benefit than otherwise. Farmers in marginal areas can benefit from liberal market if necessary infrastructures such as good road are in place. Among other things the study suggest that while the need for improving access to marginal areas still unattainable in a near future, necessary effort by the government to create a favorable environment that will enable increased number of private traders to reduce the chances of collusion which has negative impact to maize farmers is required.


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Maize, Marketing Policy, liberalized market, Agricultural marketing