TANZANIA – The Tanzanian Seed Agency (TSA) has installed an 800mn/ (US$335,213) seed processing plant in its Morogoro-based Msimba seed farm to boost production of improved seed varieties and ultimately bolster production in the country.
According to IPP Media, the modern agro facility has an installed capacity to process at least 3 tons of seeds per hour projected to play a key role in helping improve the country’s performance in the production of improved seed varieties.
During the official launching of the plant, Dr. Hussein Mohamed Omary, the Deputy Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Agriculture said that the government was very determined to invest highly into the seed sub-sector as well as irrigation schemes technology
According to him, intensive research and production of abundant improved seeds were among the key factors necessarily needed to help push for an effective metamorphosis of the agriculture sector in Tanzania
He revealed that the state is optimistic that through the use of this modern machine Tanzania will in the near future deter seed dependency syndrome from outside the country.
He also observed that the vital development will not only increase food security but also generate foreign currencies through marketing improved seeds to other countries.
On her part, Dr. Sophia Kashenge, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tanzania Agricultural Seeds Agency (ASA) called up the government to provide more land for supporting seeds production activities across the country.
According to her, an estimated 250,000 hectares were needed to quench the county’s seeds thirst by producing at least 300,000 tons annually, unveiling that currently, the total area used for seeds production was around 16,000 hectares, whereby seeds production was only at 50,000 tons.
Dr. Kashenge detailed that the facility will also contribute toward the country’s quest to achieve self-sufficiency in oil seeds.
Additionally, Kashenge revealed that in an effort to help bridge the shortage of edible oil in the country, ASA has continued producing improved seed varieties for palm oil, called TENELA.
“For instance, currently we have a total of 170,000 seedlings of TENELA variety of palm oil at this seed farm (Msimba farm), the seedlings will be channeled to the relevant farmers come next growing season, ” she expressed.
The Msimba farm, which has also been installed with the modern irrigation scheme, is famous for the production of different improved seeds, including palm oil, sunflower, sorghum as well as maize.
In this fiscal year, the agriculture ministry has set aside at least 360bn/- to facilitate a major project for the installation of modern irrigation schemes in all regions with seed production activities.