The government is now looking for external markets to export maize as production soars. Speaking when opening a two-day workshop of agricultural stakeholders on the position of the sector in industrialization, minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives Mr. Japhet Hasunga said his ministry has dispatched officials to several countries searching for markets. “We have sent our officers to Kenya, South Sudan, Malawi, and Congo DRC to see if our farmers can sell their maize there. We have also opened the door for our farmers and traders to export the product in any country of their choice,” he noted. So far, there is a surplus of more than 123 percent of maize in the country, according to him. Tanzania is the largest producer of maize in East Africa, though it still faces some challenges of achieving full business potentials. “Our plan is also to extend local consumption by establishing more processing factories,” he added. He also admitted that though the government was keen to address production challenges, it has not prepared enough market platforms. On the other hand, the minister said that the government has formed a team that is dedicated to reviving the processing industries of cashew nuts. “There are more than 20 factories which were installed for processing cashew nuts. However, most of them are not working. The factories are currently used as storerooms,” he said. “We have sent our teams to inspect and suggest on what is needed to be done to revive the factories. Our goal is to make sure that all cashew nuts are processed locally,” he said. The chairperson of Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Mr. Salumu Shamte suggested for the farmers to be included in the management and ownership of the processing industries. “Farmers must become shareholders of any company or factory which invests in the sector, making sure that they access all necessary information and operational activities including markets,” he said. So far, farmers are being exploited due to lack of information on market, price, and demand.