TANZANIA – The Tanzanian Agricultural Agency (ASA) has invested in new irrigation infrastructures at its seed multiplication farms to boost the production of improved seeds for different crops.
Three main farms belonging to the agency, one in Tabora (400h), another in Morogoro (200h) and a final one in Arusha (200 hectares) will benefit from the project estimated to cost TZS15bn/ (US$6.4M).
Speaking during the inauguration event, Dr. Sophia Kashenge, the Chief Executive Officer for ASA Tabora Region, observed that the development will enable the Agency to double seeds production at the vast farm
According to her, the absence of such facilities was incapacitating seed production efforts, especially now that the impacts of climate change are halting food production globally.
Earlier, Kashenge had revealed that efforts channeled in the project are envisioned to meet the country’s seed demand which currently stands at 187,000 tons against production of fewer than 60,000 tons.
She noted that the first phase of the project will cover a total of 210 hectares paving way for irrigation trials before the second phase commences.
Kashenge unveiled that in this cropping season, more than 150 acres of maize have dried out at this farm due to a prolonged dry spell, which is a great loss to the country.
However, she showed optimism that the ongoing project will enable the state-owned Seed Agency to produce improved seeds varieties for different crops throughout the year without reliance on rainfall.
Earlier, Anthony Mavunde, the Deputy Agriculture Minister had said that the government is determined to scale up irrigation infrastructures investments at ASA seed farms to help achieve the government’s ambition to have the country’s agriculture sector growing by 10 percent by 2030
According to him, ASA’s seed production increased to 49,000 tons in 2022 from 20,000 tons the previous year.
He, however, noted that setting up the vast irrigation facilities will bring a big contribution to supporting an important increase in seed production at the Agency’s farms
Dr. Batilda Buriani, Tabora Regional Commissioners (RC), said that the development demonstrated the government’s commitment to elevating the agriculture sector, especially in making sure the farmers are timely supplied with enough, but improved seeds.
Dr.Kashenge hailed President Samia Suluhu Hassan for injecting the Agency with a friendly budget for enabling it to install Irrigation schemes at its seed farms