The Cereals and Other Products Board of Tanzania (CPB) has outlined its ambitious plan to automate its storage facilities as part of its efforts to increase efficiency and service delivery to reach its full potential.
The process will enable the board know the available stocks in its warehouses country-wide on real-time basis.
Speaking to The Business Wiz (TBW) in an exclusive interview, the new CPB Board Chair Salum Awadh said his board eyes increasing its storage capacity from the current 130,000 tonnes to 600,000 tonnes.
“Tanzania to me is destined to be the food basket of Africa. This cannot be possible without easy access to our food products hence we need to establish distribution systems in all our target markets. Already we have an office and warehouse in Juba – South Sudan, in DR Congo, and we are eyeing opening new markets across the region and ensure we cover the deficit among neighboring states,” he added.
He added, “It’s too early to disclose our next markets but we are currently scanning to determine potential of our new markets and this will determine our next move”
Awadh told TBW that the board also targets a 1.5trn/- revenue per annum, a target set by the former CPB board adding that the board has not been able to meet 10 per cent of the target.
“As a new board, we met this target and we are currently making a review to determine if this is realistic or not and probably establish the necessary resources required to achieve this and if possible invest to achieve this target and by the end of this month we will have revised these targets,” he said.
He noted that the board is committed to supporting the Ministry of Agriculture’s Agenda 10/30 that seeks to increase the agriculture sectors contribution to 10 per cent adding that his board has already outlined three priority areas to support the agenda.
“The 10 percent target is realistic. To support the agenda, we have prioritized three areas to support the agenda 10/30 including increasing the supply chain in terms of productivity and this can’t be achieved without ensuring easy access to farm inputs. As a board we will ensure supply of farm-inputs including fertilizers and already we have secured the permits,” he said.
He added,” We will be able to supply fertilizers to small-holder farmers at a probably cheaper price than the subsidized price because at the end of the day, transport costs account for a big chunk of the total costs and this will ensure that farmers produce at a slightly lower cost”
He noted that CPB also eyes being the largest market for smallholder farmers adding that the board seeks to provide better prices to ensure that farmers produce more.
“Farmers are forced to sell their products because they not have reliable storage facilities. They anticipate that their products will go bad that is why they sell produce at lower prices. 40 per cent of the harvest is lost literally meaning that 40 percent of income is lost. If you are able to reduce this, then farmers’ income will increase drastically,” he added.
He added that the board also seeks to establish more factories across the country as part of its efforts to enhance value addition.
“Our focus is to ensure value addition in our supply chain. We are looking forward to selling processed products rather that selling raw materials as finished products fetch better prices in the market,” he stressed”