Tanzania can grow quality seeds in 18 districts: Sagcot

Summary

  • The 18 councils can grow the seeds in 17,610 hectares to meet Tanzania’s short-term plan demands.

Dodoma. Eighteen district councils have been identified as having the potential to grow quality seeds that are in high demand in the local market.

Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (Sagcot) policy manager Khalid Mgalamo said here on Monday that the 18 councils can grow the seeds in 17,610 hectares to meet Tanzania’s short-term plan demands.

He said this during a day-long meeting that brought together district executive officers from the identified districts that the goal was to reduce importation of seeds, establish seed growing and processing infrastructure and make farmers access seeds easily and in time.

Mr Mgalamo said identification of councils was research-based, explaining that this considered geographical and environmental factors.

He named the districts as Butiama, Musoma, Sumbawanga, Kalambo, Nkasi, Mlele, Nsimbo, Mpanda, Simanjiro, Serengeti, Kiteto, Namtumbo, Madaba, Songea, Mbozi, Momba, Mpimbwe na Uvinza.

He said Sagcot was the coordinator of the national effort that seeks to ensure Tanzania gradually becomes self-reliant in quality seeds and farmers access seeds in time.

Seed factories, he said, would be established in districts.

Tanzania Seed Trade Associatlion (Tasta) leader Baldwin Shuma told the meeting that 35,000 hectares had been set aside for development in implementing the long-term plan and asked councils to identify land and do groundwork quickly so that listed prospective investors in the seed sub-sector can embark on investment and create jobs in districts.

The investors, he explained, will establish seed-related industries.

The focus now, he said, should be on making certain seeds are grown in 17,610 ha set aside for development under the short-term plan.

Tasta has a five-year strategic that seeks to harmonise and advance government efforts in ensuring farmers access easily quality seeds and Tanzania becomes self-reliant in seed production.

Butiama District executive director Patricia Kabaka said the meeting was a success in the sense that it provided directors with requisite education and information to enable them to set aside land for seed growing and processing.

She said unlike its name, Sagcot was promoting agricultural development in the whole of Tanzania.

“Sagcot is not only focusing on the southern corridor as its name suggests and as most of us usually think. It focuses on the entire country,” she said.

The meeting was sponsored by Sagcot and Africa Green Revolution Alliance (Agra).