First Mile Transport Challenges for Smallholder Tomato Farmers along Ihimbo‐Itimbo Road, Kilolo District Tanzania

Abstract

This pilot study looked at first mile transport challenges faced by smallholder tomato farmers along Ihimbo‐Itimbo Road, Kilolo District, Tanzania. The first stage distance is critical for agricultural products that are time and transport sensitive such as tomatoes. Key issues include: a dearth of means of transport among farmers, compounded by poor first mile infrastructure. Main transport modes to the consolidation points are headloading, motorcycles and bicycles though there is limited ownership of the latter in the area. Average first mile distances to consolidation points range from 1‐4 km. Motorcycles are a relatively more expensive mode compared to headloading for the first mile journey. Average transport costs to consolidation points on normal days were TZS 10,000 (US$ 5) and TZS 16,700 (US$8.35) for head‐loading and motorcycles respectively. On rainy days, the average transport cost is higher by 50% for headloading (TZS 15,300 or US$7.65) and 20% for motorcycles (TZS 19,800 or US$10). The farm gate prices are highly variable, with seasonality and availability of transport being key factors. There is also a huge difference in the price as tomatoes move along the transport chain. Simultaneous price information collected in different markets showed prices of up to 250% higher at the final market compared to the farm gate price. Closer collaboration between transport planners and the agricultural sector is required. Developing appropriate standards for first mile access and provision of basic infrastructure at load consolidation points are important areas of focus.

Citation

Njenga, P.; Willilo, S.; Hine, J. First Mile Transport Challenges for Smallholder Tomato Farmers along Ihimbo‐Itimbo Road, Kilolo District Tanzania. ReCAP/Cardno, Thame, Oxfordshire, UK (2015) 35 pp.

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