FAO provides €600,000 to improve vegetable farming in Africa

Women tend to a vegetable garden. PHOTO | TAWODEO

Arumeru. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has provided the World Vegetable Center, with €600,000 to improve the seed bank at the center and enhance food security.

The center’s regional director for East and Southern Africa, Dr Gabriel Rugalema, revealed the support to the Parliament’s Industry, Trade, Agriculture, and Livestock committee members who visited the center at the weekend.

He said FAO provided the funds with the aim of improving vegetable farming in Africa and enabling researchers to carry out their duties effectively.

“We opened a new seed bank, we continue to invest in genetics, and it is progressing well. We thank our partners at FAO for the funds, which will help to grow and improve the bank, support seed research, and various trainings,” he said.

He requested the government to help with 20 acres for vegetable training gardens because the 14-acre area given in 1992 is currently insufficient for research and training activities.

Dr Rugalema said the center trained more than 1,200 people this year, including 505 farmers, 120 students, and over 600 visitors from abroad.

The chairman of the committee said the challenges such as additional 20 acres and the restriction on some research equipment at the port, are issues that they will advise the government on and, if necessary, make quick decisions to enable the center’s activities to move forward.