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Tanzania needs cargo airplanes

The growers ask for exports to Europe, Asia and the Americas

Farmers of the southern uplands in Tanzania have renewed their appeal to the government to start a cargo airplane link that facilitates the transport of products towards domestic and foreign markets. Growers claim that local fruit and vegetable sales have not peaked due to the lack of efficient transport. These are convinced that reaching the external markets at the right time when the demand for Tanzanian products is higher could help the sub-sector grow faster.

According to Hadija Jabir, spokesperson for farmers in the southwest region of Iringa, the most profitable markets are those in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Farmers, Jabir reported it, are calling for direct flights between the area and foreign markets. "Production has grown and we are aware of which markets are ready to receive it, but we can not reach them due to lack of direct flightsWe ask the government and President John Magufuli to intervene with temporary measures."The hypothesis of renting goods-aircraft for the products of Tanzania", he said.

Magufuli also holds the position as chairman of the National Business Council of Tanzania (TNBC). In their appeal, growers also complain that Songwe Airport still lacks coolers to store fruit and vegetables, and there are no direct flights from that airport towards foreign markets. The products of the area, Jabir explained it, are brought to Dar es Salaam and then redirected to foreign buyers, increasing the costs for farmers and making Tanzania's products not competitive on foreign markets. Clear is the example of Kenyan farmers, who have a competitive advantage in foreign markets because they spend much less money to transport their products through Kenya Airways cargo planes.

This is the second time that farmers are pressing for the government to take measures to facilitate the commercialization and export of domestic products; making access to foreign markets easier is a move that will also increase the country's earnings, they say. Already last month, during the eleventh meeting of the TNBC, the spokesperson explained the problem by asking for urgent action both on the domestic and foreign markets.

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