NYANZA- The Minister of Trade and Industry, Thursday advised agro-based cooperatives to set up market outlets if they are to easily attract more customers.
Francois Kanimba, was speaking in Nyanza District during a consultative meeting with local leaders, stakeholders and cooperative representatives from the eight districts in the Southern Province.
The meeting aimed at discussing how farmers can access markets for their products.
Kanimba noted that there was need for a centralised site where large quantities of agricultural produce is continuously sold as a way of attracting many clients.
“Merchants can’t spend their time looking for products scattered among small vendors or at every cooperative’s offices. Instead of buying 100 kilos here, 200 there, 50 elsewhere and so on, they will go where they can have the quantities they need,” Kanimba observed.
The minister refuted claims by some farmers and cooperatives that their produce has exceeded the demand.
He cited the example of traders who still import cassava from Uganda because of limited production in Rwanda.
“The issue with farmers is not that there are no markets for their produce, but that they are not well organised,” he noted.
At the meeting, it was agreed that provincial and district leaders take the responsibilities to assist farmers set up sites to conduct wholesale business.
Speaking to The New Times shortly after the meeting, the Governor of the Southern Province, Alphonse Munyentwari, promised to assist organise farmers develop strategies to bring in more buyers.
“We will help cooperatives in setting up a structure where local farmers will be the first targets. In their capacities, farmers themselves present a potential market.”