TANZANIA – Tanzania has received a new rice sorting technology known as Colour Sorter from a Japanese company, Satake to boost rice production and processing in the country.

The Colour Sorter machines initiative follows an agreement between Satake, a Japanese company, and local processors. According to the agreement, Satake was mandated to supply and maintenance for the facility.

According to Citizen News, the Colour Sorter machines have the ability to sort out unwanted solid materials using higher-resolution sensors, leaving the rice grains clear and of high quality.

Processors, on the other hand, say that they are optimistic that the rice sorting technology will open more export markets to Tanzania-produced rice, whose quality has been the stumbling block.

“We once organized ourselves and started exporting rice to Dubai. Unfortunately, we did not last long. Our rice consignments were rejected as they were deemed substandard.”

In Tanzania, rice is one of the main foods and cash crops cultivated by both medium and small-scale farmers.

According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture, the paddy crop is expected to rise by 9% year-on-year to 2.4 million MT as the area harvested returns to historical levels after declining in MY 2022/23.

USDA attributes the increased production to the government’s initiative to support irrigation schemes in the Southern Highlands which has motivated more farmers to restore the area harvested to 1.1 million hectares.

Moreover, FAO reveals that the rice intensification technology (SRI) farming technology, a technology trained by FAO, has attracted many unemployed women and the youth, as well as those who have migrated to urban centers and major cities, back into agriculture.

Ms Anna Mwangamilo, the Director of Mechanization and Irrigation in the Ministry of Agriculture encouraged farmers to grow more rice to help the government achieve the 2019–2030 National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS) phase II.

According to Mwangamilo, NRDS aims to sustain rice self-sufficiency, contribute to regional self-sufficiency, be a rice market leader, and be well-positioned to become competitive through the improvement of quality, quantity, and value of the produced rice.

Therefore, she affirmed that the new technology will greatly boost rice export market share, quality, and production. The government anticipates that the technology will increase the rice industry’s competitiveness in both domestic and international markets.

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