The government has set aside over 10.6bn/- in the next financial year to facilitate Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA) produce improved seeds that can boost edible oil production in the country.
Deputy minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe told the National Assembly on Monday the country’s annual demand for edible oil stands at 570,000 tonnes, but production weighs on 205, 000 tonnes leaving a deficit of 365,000 tonnes.
Responding to a basic question from Boniphace Getere (Bunda - CCM) who had wanted to know what caused Tanzania's insufficiency of cooking oil, the deputy minister said underproduction owing to poor faming technologies is to blame.
He quickly said the deficit in production of edible oil has forced the government to spend 474bn/- per year to import the key ingredient for cooking.
“The government continues to encourage the cultivation of oil crops including sunflower, palm oil and cotton in all regions with land and climate suitable for the cultivation of these crops,” he noted.
Equally, the Ministry has planned to enable 680 extension officers of Singida, Dodoma, and Simiyu motorcycles for monitoring, training and enabling such extension workers to establish farms of sunflower and cotton as well as establishing collective farms.