TANZANIA – The government of Tanzania is on course to embark on a groundbreaking project for the construction of two state-of-the-art wheat processing plants to bolster the country’s wheat production and processing capabilities.

David Silinde, Deputy Minister of Agriculture announced the government’s strategic initiative while responding to a query raised by Festo Sanga, the Member of Parliament for Makete, a renowned wheat-producing district in the country.

Sanga sought clarity on the government’s intentions regarding the establishment of a wheat processing factory in their district.

In his response, Silinde assured that Makete District would be prioritized for the construction of the two processing facilities.

He elaborated, stating that the Ministry of Agriculture is currently conducting a nationwide assessment of wheat-producing regions to identify the most profitable areas for installing these plants.

Furthermore, Silinde disclosed that during the 2023/24 growing season, the ministry had allocated at least 1000 tons of subsidized wheat seeds to farmers in Makete District.

Out of this allocation, 476 tons have already been distributed, with the remaining 524 tons set to be delivered soon.

“As a positive result, the farmers in Makete have used the subsidized seeds fruitful to heighten production in surpass to the purchasing capacity of the available market,” he observed. 

He expressed satisfaction with the impact of the subsidized seeds on wheat production in Makete, noting that farmers had significantly increased their yields, surpassing the capacity of the local market.

Addressing market challenges, Silinde revealed that the government had directed the Cereals and Other Produce Board (CPB) to intervene by purchasing excess wheat from farmers in Makete.

He assured that the CPB will adhere to purchasing procedures outlined by Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS) to ensure fairness and transparency.

Sanga, the Makete lawmaker, commended the Ministry of Agriculture for its support in boosting wheat production in the district. He highlighted the positive effects of the subsidized seeds provided through the Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA) on local farmers.

The government’s ambitious strategy aims to elevate wheat production in Makete District from 8,242 tons to 200,000 tons by 2026. This initiative also seeks to expand wheat cultivation areas from 17,120 hectares to 118,000 hectares within the same timeframe.

The anticipated development is projected to substantially increase farmers’ incomes from 750,000/- to 1,725,000/- per hectare. This transformation will be facilitated by enhancing yields from the current 0.5 tons per hectare to a target of at least 1.5 tons.

To support this strategy, researchers from the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) have provided extensive guidance to wheat farmers in Makete District on optimal agronomic practices, including the proper use of fertilizers.

Dr. Catherine Senkoro, a soil expert from TARI, emphasized the importance of tailored fertilizer applications based on soil testing conducted in the district.

“We have identified specific soil deficiencies in Makete, including nitrogen and phosphorus deficiencies, as well as low soil pH. By addressing these issues through targeted interventions, we aim to enable farmers to achieve bumper harvests,” stated Dr. Senkoro.

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