TANZANIA – The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) plans to produce more than 50,000 tonnes of soybean by 2025 against the current 5,000 to 20,000 tonnes per year in a bid to reduce the shortage of crops in the country.
By 2030, Sagcot partners seek to bring 350,000 hectares of land into profitable production, elevate 100,000 small-scale farmers into commercial farming, create 420,000 jobs, lift two million people out of poverty, and generate 1.2 billion US dollars in annual farming revenue.
Speaking at the climax of the Nanenane International exhibition the Tanzania Sustainable Soybean Initiative (TSSI) the Programme Manager, Mr Abdallah Msambachi said the demand for soybeans in the domestic market is now 150,000 tonnes per year.
In the quest to boost production, Mr. Msambachi said that they are collaborating with Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) to identify the kind of seeds that are potential and disseminate the technology to the farmers.
In addition, he revealed the drive to attain the soybean target is spearheaded by TSSI, a new program under SAGCOT where they collaborated with the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) under the World Food Programme (WFP), Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation and Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
According to him, with TSSI in place, SAGCOT aims to drive the competitiveness of the soya industry in Tanzania by promoting its industrial utilization and tapping into domestic and export market opportunities that currently present themselves.
“We have focused on increasing productivity and production due to climate change and the large presence of markets as well as nutritional issues. Our goal is to produce more than fifty thousand tons from those six regions,” said Mr Msambachi.
He said the project is being implemented in six regions namely Songwe, Iringa, Mbeya, Njombe, Rukwa, Ruvuma, and Morogoro.
On his part, the FtMA Programme Officer – Market, Mr. Lusajo Bukuku advised the youth to grab the opportunity to enter into soybean farming because the program provided free education on how to prepare the farm, the type of seeds up to harvest as well as post-harvest.
Bukuku added that the goal is to enable sustainable food systems through strengthened markets to empower farmers to increase their yields, incomes, and resilience and to improve African food security.