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Tanzania: Rural ICT a boon for farmers

31 October 2012

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The proposed plan to connect rural areas with low cost communication will spur economic growth at both household and national levels.

Tanzanian government has set aside 48bn/- to finance the first phase of the project which is expected to benefit more than 1.6 million people in 152 wards across the country.

The Universal Communication Access Fund (UCSAF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Engineer Peter Ulanga, was quoted by the media over the weekend as saying that ground work such as scouting for a company that will provide the service has been done.

Arguably, the project would provide the opportunity for people living in rural areas to connect with the outside world. This means that they would be exposed more to business opportunities coupled with market and price updates for their livestock and agricultural produce.

Since the nation got her independence about 51 years ago, peasant farmers have been on the losing end as they could not negotiate on better prices for lack of reliable information about markets and demand.

This shortfall has been the major factor that has often frustrated efforts by various stakeholders, including the government, to help famers get out of abject poverty.

For example: Farmers in the top maize producing regions known as the Big Four (Rukwa, Ruvuma, Mbeya and Iringa) have been selling their produce at a giveaway price for lack of reliable information about markets in other parts of the country.

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SOURCE: AllAfrica
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