DODOMA: DODOMA Region plans in the 2023/2024 season to produce 378,911 tonnes of millet, an amount which is almost double compared to 194,388 tonnes
that were produced during the 2022/2023 farming season.
Speaking during the stakeholders’ meeting here Assistant Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) responsible for Business and Economy sectors, Aziza Mumba, said that the region was well prepared to ensure that the target was met.
She said there was high demand of millets in the market as he asked farmers to grab the opportunity giving assurance that market was available.
The United Nations has named 2023 the Year of Millets to highlight the long-overlooked staple and its crucial role in food security.
Millets are climate-resilient: They are drought-tolerant, can adapt to climate shocks and thrive in poor soil. The staple has among the lowest water needs of any grain crop, essential to farmers in a world with a rapidly changing climate.
According to Ms Mumba buyers of millets in Dodoma included area residents who were buying the staple for domestic consumption, the World Food Programme (WFP), Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL), APAC and Rainbow companies, among others.
Markets according to him were also available in Kibaigwa, Majengo, Miembeni, Mpwapwa, Mkoka, Kongwa and Kondoa.
She said the government was working with other local and international companies to ensure that there were quality seeds for farmers, adding that the main focus was on Quality Declared Seeds (QDS).
QDS is recognized as a seed class in Tanzania and Zambia and offers an alternative to certified seed. QDS class caters for those crops, areas, and farming systems where highly developed seed quality control
activities are difficult to implement.
Speaking at the meeting, Agriculture and Marketing Officer from the Agricultural Seeds Agency (ASA), Ezekiel Noah, said during the 2023/14 farming season his agency was planning to sell 200 tonnes of millet seeds to farmers.
He called for collaboration between the government and the private sector to see what kind of seeds were on the demand.
Chamwino District Commissioner said that the government was making tremendous efforts in the agriculture sector in efforts to maintain food security. According to her, millets farming had been allocated 3,000 hectares at the Msamalo Ward and that the district was planning to drill well so that farmers can also engage themselves in irrigation farming.