Access to Agricultural Market Information by Rural Farmers in Tanzania
Magesa, Mawazo M.
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Access to agricultural markets and agricultural market information is essential for participating in agricultural markets. A skilled and well-equipped participant benefits more in the agricultural marketing chain. Due to poor access to agricultural markets, rural farmers have for so long depended on subsistence farming living other participants (traders, consumers, intermediaries) benefiting more. Poor access to markets by these rural farmers is attributed by poor road infrastructure, lack of transporting means, and broadly by lack of agricultural market information. Due to lack of market information such as price of produce at the markets, quality and quantity of produces required at the markets, rural farmers negotiate on prices of their produce based on the information provided by traders. These factors significantly reduce the bargaining power of rural farmers and thus promote development of uncompetitive markets. It is envisaged that if rural farmers get a fair share of their produce, they can shift from subsistence farming and consider agriculture as their main economic activity. Dependence on radio programs and mobile phone calls to get agricultural market information has not well benefited remote rural farmers. This study proposes to establish a platform of framework where agricultural market participants can share market information. With this platform, real-time market information can be made available to market participants. The overall goal is to ensure farmers are assisted to get a fair share of their produce.