Universiteit Gent Faculteit Landbouwkundige en Toegepaste Biologische Wetenschappen Vakgroep plantaardige productie




НазваниеUniversiteit Gent Faculteit Landbouwkundige en Toegepaste Biologische Wetenschappen Vakgroep plantaardige productie
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Current State of Agribusiness and Agricultural Marketing




Organisation of Stakeholders




Farmers’ Organisation



The organisation of (small-scale) farmers in Tanzania and Zambia is described in Chapter 5 (sections 5.6. and 5.7.). Summarising, it can be said that farmers are poorly organised: most primary cooperative societies have only a few members and do not represent the majority of farmers nor do they serve the interest of the farmers. Zambia has a lead over Tanzania as farmers have the possibility to join the farmers union at national level, which is non-existent in Tanzania, and more donor/NGO programmes are concentrating on organising farmers (van Engelen, 2000; personal communication from Felix Chizhuka, Project Manager NFU-Agri-Business-Forum, Zambia 2001; Charles Chabala, Deputy Regional Representative at SCC, Zambia 2001; Robinson Manase, General Manager of Central Tobacco Growers Association, Zambia, 2001).


As farmers are ill-organised, they mostly deal individually with obtaining inputs and selling produce and thus do not obtain the more advantageous prices that larger groups could. The current marketing system has many intermediaries, which means that the farm gate price in many cases is quite low. Together with the fact that most farmers are forced to sell straight after harvest (at times already before harvesting) due to financial problems, this means that farmers’ income is less than it could be if farmers would be able to develop their own marketing strategies within their own organisations (Van Damme, 1998; van Engelen, 2000).


Organisation of Private Sector



The free market economy has brought many private operators in the marketing and processing sector. Unfortunately these are hardly organised and often played out against one another to their own detriment and at times the old structures’ advantage. Therefore, it will be important for private entrepreneurs to form business and trade organisations to defend the interest of their branches in national and regional forums and be able to influence both policymaking and control mechanisms (van Engelen, 2000; World Bank, 2000).


In Tanzania there is the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) which was set up towards the end of the eighties to support the rights of the business community. Its main task is to look for markets for all members’ products. They search the internet, get requests from embassies, and have direct contacts with partner organisations and potential customers abroad. The information obtained is made available to all members. But the problem is that TCCIA is not yet well established at district level. The Zambian Chambers of Commerce caters for the needs of the industry complementary to the Zambian National Farmers Union (ZNFU) catering for the needs of farmers. They will first act as a discussion forum for the different parties involved in commercial sector activities’ development, but could gradually take more direct initiatives geared at influencing the sector’s development and course of activities.


Private entrepreneurs wanting to start a business also lack support structures that can assist them with preparing feasibility studies, business plans, establishing contacts with potential clients and looking for finance. Local companies interested in developing local processing activities and/or starting export activities need assistance in linking them with producers and on the other side with potential buyers. There are some organisations that can assist private entrepreneurs in this matter, like for example FAIDA (see also Chapter 4) that works on backward linkages (i.e. linking companies with producers) and TechnoServe that works on forward linkages (i.e. linking companies with foreign markets), both operating in Tanzania. But these are very few and have only a limited operational area. Donors and NGOs can play an important role here in setting up such support organisations in a sustainable manner. An assessment should be made on the extent to which these organisations are needed and could operate in a sustainable way. Another question is whether backward and forward linking should be separated or could be united in one organisation.


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