Sesame farmers fault warehouse receipt system
04 June 2020

ACROSS section of sesame farmers in Dodoma Region have faulted the warehouse receipt system, saying it is not working for them and may be was meant for just few. 

They claimed that government officials confiscate their produce as they go to market places since they are required to sell through the cooperative societies under the warehouse receipt system.  But the government has responded affirmatively saying it will ensure farmers get their rights of selling their products at the best prices. The government blames lack of knowledge in the system among farmers as the main reason. Speaking during a meeting here, one of the farmers from Kondoa, Abeid Said claimed that he has several times been forced to alight from the bus at Kidoka road block while transporting sesame to market in Dodoma city. 

"It is strange that I have cultivated my crops and when I want to sell some one blocks me, issue a receipt that is likely to be eaten by rats in our houses before payment is made" he said, arguing that may be the system is there to just rob them. The same sentiments were echoed by Nassib Mohamed, a farmer from Makanda village in Bahi who observed that farmers ought to have been educated on the system before its implementation. "We are not against the system but we appeal for the authority to ensure there are warehouses in every village unlike now where the whole district has just one warehouse," he said. He complains about the current price of 1,600/- per kilogramme of sesame, terming it exploitative to farmers. The farmer argued that the crop sells at one dollar in the world market, equivalent to 2,200/-.

Nassib requested the government to see if the system is beneficial to sesame farmers, claiming that the situation is not good as police officers confiscate their produce, forcing them to take receipts with directives that sesame is sold under warehouse system. Navasi Kinungula, one of the sesame traders in Dodoma on his part argued that the system has a lot of challenges since farmers do not have knowledge of how it works. Imagine I have disbursed over 33m/- to farmers in contract farming and I buy at 1,900/- per kilogramme yet but farmers are forced to sell through a system that gives them only 1,600/- per kilogramme, he said.Dabazi Hamisi, another farmer also observed that farmers in the region do not have knowledge about the warehouse receipt system. He cited a recent case whereby one of the farmers in Chamwino district was arrested following directives from the district commissioner for selling the crop outside the system. Following the claims, minister for Agriculture, Japhet Hasunga explained that the warehouse receipt system is meant to ensure that even the ordinary farmers market their produce.

"The system works so well but the only challenge is that many farmers are still not aware of how it works and the government will continue educating them," he said. He noted that the system is working very well in Ruvuma, Lindi and Mtwara regions, adding that the system will be introduced to other regions once farmers were aware of the procedure.