Geita tackles high cooking oil deficit

GEITA is producing less than 10 per cent of its total vegetable oil demand compelling the authority to intervene to reverse the situation.

The region, though, has ample and suitable land for producing enough vegetable oil—especially from sunflower seeds without considering cotton and palm.

The Geita Regional Agricultural Officer, Mr Tito Mlewa, presenting the statistics recently in a regional special session said the region only meets a demand of 1,146 tonnes of cooking oil leaving a deficit of 13,554 tonnes per year. The total region demand stands at 14,700 tonnes per year.

“My fellow agricultural officers, let’s make sure we promote advanced sunflowers production in the region,” Mr Mlewa said at a special meeting aimed at discussing development of sunflower cultivation as an alternative way to deal with the deficit.

He said the region has set strategies to expand the production of sunflowers by doubling the current 11,896 hectares to produce 1142.16 tonnes of sunflower oil to address region’s oil deficit.

He said to achieve the goals, the government has provided 112 motorcycles to agricultural officers in Geita to successfully manage modern sunflower farming.

“Let’s network for the production of sunflower crops to the livestock sector as well,” Mr Mlewa said.

He said, through sunflower oil factories, the region expects to produce 2,855 tonnes of animal feed per year hence contributing to modern livestock breeding.

The sunflower oil factories will be able to serve about 35,347 cows or 571,000 chickens per year, and create some 307,000 jobs.

The Geita District Council Director, Mr Paul Wanga, urged agricultural officials to manage the implementation of the strategies for the achievement of the 2030 national agricultural agenda.

The Geita Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Prof Godius Kahyarara directed each council to set plans to achieve modern sunflowers farming via irrigation schemes.

He emphasised, modern farming goes along with the use of advanced technology to achieve the production of sunflower oil that meets the world market standards.

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