“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”
― Orson Welles
There are worrying signs of higher prices on staple foods, as reports of the added price for Maize and Sorghum. With the likes of Maize that has skyrocketed over the last few months, the same has happen to Sorghum. The Central Government needs to stop the inflation of prices as this is key in the staple and adds strains to many of citizens.
Maize prices per 100 kg was 65,103.5 Tanzanian Shillings in December 2015 and by December 2016 it cost 85,159.8 Tanzanian Shillings. In a years time the prices on maizes has gone up 30 %. That is a worrying sign!
Sorghum prices per 100 kg was 81,638.1 Tanzanian Shillings in December 2015 and by December 2016 it cost 104,545.1 Tanzanian Shillings. In a years time the prices on Sorghum has gone up 28 %. That is not something anyone wants to see.
Just as the prices are rising, the dwindling levels of foods that has no been confirmed by the Minister:
“Reports of food shortages were initially denied by top levels of government, but were later accepted. At the end of January 2017, the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Charles Tizeba, told parliament that a study conducted by the Ministry, in collaboration with various partners, had found that 55 districts (out of 169 in Tanzania including Zanzibar) were facing food shortages, and
that “35,491 tonnes of food are required for supply between February and April 2017 to combat a shortage facing 1,186,028 people’’ in these districts” Sauti za Wananchi, 2017).
What is more worrying is the stats from the survey done by Sauti za Wananchi:
“The key findings are:
• Eight in ten households report that their income does not cover their daily needs
• Eight in ten households usually keep a stock of food in reserve in case a food shortage
• A huge majority of Sauti za Wananchi respondents (78%) report food shortages in
• The price of maize has doubled in the past two years, even accounting for general
• Seven in ten households worried about running short of food in the past three months
• The household food security situation has worsened between September 2016 and
February 2017” (Sauti za Wananchi, 2017).
When you have rising staple food prices, little or no reserves in the homes, as well as lacking income to combat the running prices on food. Set the citizens and the inflation into a devastating spiral that no republic want to go through. The United Republic of Tanzania Government needs to act swift and clear on the important issue and lack of safeguard, as the running expenses and lack of food security that is rising. Not only the prices, but this has all happen in the term of President John Magufuli, who needs to take charge and make sure his citizens can eat and earn enough to have a healthy living. The households needs a revamp and the structure with agriculture and food imports needs to change to significantly, these sort of number and amount of people lacking food is a dire situation. Peace.
Tanzania – ‘Sauti za Wananchi – Brief No. 39’ (March 2017)