Ministry allocates 41.39bn/- for seeds research

DODOMA: THE Ministry of Agriculture is planning to spend a total of 41.39bn/- on the implementation of strategies for elevating the performance of seeds research and production sector.

Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe told Members of Parliament on Friday that the government has allocated the fund in the 2024/25 budget framework.

He said seed research stands among key areas necessary for the smooth growth of the economic sector, taking into consideration that agriculture is the backbone of a country’s economic growth.

He added that seeds research was among six key areas that have been prioritised by the ministry in order to ensure the set vision of allowing the agriculture sector to contribute at least 20 per cent to the national GDP is achieved.

Mr Bashe told the National Assembly that they want to see as well that the agriculture sector keeps on contributing 100 per cent to national food security and heightening crops exports value to 3bn US dollars.

“These robust six targets which will run from 2025—2050 targets to improve crops production and productivity, and will be implemented under 27 separate strategies,” he unveiled.

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Bashe said that the 41.39bn/-, will be injected to facilitate the major projects for the construction of ultramodern Gen Bank at the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI)’s Selian Centre in Arusha region.

Moreover, he said the plans will see installation of vast bioscience lab at the TARI Mikocheni Centre in Dar es Salaam, sponsoring a total of 485 agricultural pundits to acquire high education levels in pertaining to seed research as well as to rehabilitate the Arusha-based TARI Tengeru Centre and make it the excellence centre for horticultural research.

The plans will also involve producing and distributing to farmers a total of 5.7 million of cassava seedlings in all regions where the crop flourishes and continuing with the general task of installation of irrigation infrastructure at a total of 19 research farms, occupying a total of 1,120 hectares.

Dwelling on more projects to be implemented, the minister said the plan is also to finalise construction of a special facility for production of banana tree seeds through tissue culture technology at TARI Maruku centre in Kagera region.

Minister Bashe said they will continue with the construction of modern irrigation schemes at the Agricultural Seeds Agency (ASA) seed estates that occupy a total of 1,375 hectares. He added that the ministry will also start new irrigation farms with 8,000 acres, among others.

“We’re also planning to embark on a fresh project to procure and install two major facilities for processing seeds, with capacity to process 4 tonnes per hour at Mbozi and Namtumbo seeds estates.

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