THE government is taking a number of initiatives, including seed and soil profiling through agricultural research institutes, as the country seeks to become a major seed exporter.
The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr Hussein Bashe, told the Parliament here yesterday that the research is aimed at producing seeds which will not only be for export but also make farmers produce food crops commercially.
Moreover, he said, the research institutes are working on terms which will make them have in place seeds that cope with climate changes, hence soil profiling that matches the duo.
Mr Bashe said according to statistics, by 2050 , the world needs for food crops will be in high demand by 50 per cent compared to the current situation; and thus, as a country, we will be using the advantage of the arable and fertile land to initiate food crop commercial farming.
Moreover, he said, according to the new agricultural policy of 2019, it will mark out its priority in four areas of strategic crops, raw materials for industries, horticulture and high quality seeds production. As for strategic crops, those prioritized are cotton, sisal, tea, cashewnut and coffee.
And in horticulture, the deputy minister said, they intend to support farmers to produce those of high value, taking into account the increasing demand of the products for both local use and export.
He said the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) is working on the seed modification and soil profiling so that the country has in place the best quality that will also win foreign markets.
Mr Bashe said the government was also reviewing the coffee system of production and sale so that they set in place the one which will aspire for the increased productivity and improve farmers’ socio-economic welfare.
He gave the good news when responding to Mr Rashid Shangazi (Mlalo- CCM) on what strategies the government applies to produce crops that cope with the industrialization drive.
Responding further, the deputy minister said the government would use all means possible to ensure agriculture serves as the economic backbone as it was the case with previous phases.
However, he said, the priority differs with the time needs and demands at present, Mr Bashe said, noting that with the increasing population, the demand for horticulture and food crops has been a priority and being perceived as cash crops.