Ismail Ngolinda, TARI Wheat Senior Researcher revealed this while speaking to the Daily News, adding that with 2,500 tonnes of basic seeds, the goal of producing 50,000 tonnes of certified seeds will be reached.
Ngolinda said that the institution doubled basic seeds production this year to 250 tonnes compared to only 50 tonnes produced last year.
According to him, the existing strategies include researching various seeds that can resist high-temperature areas but also drought, fungal diseases, and many other characteristics.
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data shows that Tanzania’s annual domestic wheat consumption is estimated at more than 1 million tonnes per year, while total annual production stands at around 93,184 tonnes, hence the country imports about 90 percent of the wheat it consumes.
Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture specifically embarked on a fresh move to revive and improve the production of wheat in the country after the country earmarked 400000 hectares for the cultivation of wheat.
“The area of 400,000 hectares can provide us with the needed wheat, that is an average of one million tonnes per year,” said the researcher.
Ngolinda added that the current average per hectare is estimated at 1.6 tonnes and strategies of increasing productivity through intensification and extensification to attain at least 3.0 tonnes per hectare is in place.
In addition, the researcher revealed that the agency has envisioned providing seeds with characteristics that are needed by the processors.
According to him, many processors currently require the seeds to have at least 24 percent of gluten to keep up with their technological and functional needs during processing. “This is what determines how much wheat will have the quality to process various products”.
TARI invests US$3.2M to construct irrigation infrastructures in 17 research centers
TANZANIA Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) has allocated 8bn/- (US$3.2M) in the 2023/2024 financial year to build irrigation infrastructures in its 17 research centers that will help in conducting research trials throughout the year.
Speaking to Daily News TZ, Dr Geofrey Mkamilo, TARI Director General said that the construction has started in the sense that a contractor has been obtained and contracts signed in the last fiscal year, adding that approximately 854 hectares would be used for the installation.
Dr. Mkamilo said that the project is for three years which will be completed in 2025/2026 and start working.
“Our goal is to do a seed research trial as well as seed production throughout the year.”
Dr. Mkamilo said that the institution’s role is to regulate, conduct, manage, promote, and coordinate all agricultural research activities in the country, therefore through the irrigation infrastructure, it will increase productivity in agriculture.
He mentioned the stations where the irrigation infrastructure is being built as TARI located in Makutupora Dodoma, Mlingano Tanga, Tengeru Arusha, Ukiliguru Mwanza, Tumbi Tabora, Selian Arusha, and Uyole Mbeya.
Others are Maruku Bukoba, Kifyulilo Iringa, Naliendele Mtwara, Kibaha Pwani, Mikocheni Dar es Salaam, Dakawa – Mvomero, Ifakara Kilombero, Ilonga Morogoro and Hombolo Dodoma and Kihinga Kigoma.
TARI aims at strengthening the national agricultural research system to enhance the development and dissemination of Technologies, Innovations, and Management Practices (TIMPs) to address the real needs of farmers and other agricultural stakeholders.