SAGCOT eyes 50,000 tonnes of soybean by 2025

THE Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) plans to produce more than 50,000 tonnes of soybean by 2025 to reduce the shortage of crop in the country.

Currently, the soybean crop produced in the country is between 5,000 to 20,000 tonnes per year.

Speaking yesterday at the climax of the Nanenane International exhibition the Tanzania Sustainable Soybean Initiative (TSSI) the Programme Manager, Mr Abdallah Msambachi said the demand for soybeans in the domestic market is 150,000 tonnes per year.

TSSI is a new programme under SAGCOT where they collaborated with the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) under the World Food Programme (WFP), Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation and Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

“The programme which comprises ASPIRES, IITA, FtMA and SAGCOT aims to drive the competitiveness of the soya industry in Tanzania through promoting its industrial utilisation and tapping into domestic and export market opportunities that currently present themselves.

He said the project is being implemented in six regions namely Songwe, Iringa, Mbeya, Njombe, Rukwa, Ruvuma and Morogoro.

“We have focused on increasing productivity and production due to climate change and the large presence of markets as well as nutritional issues. Our goal is to produce more than fifty thousand tons from those six regions,” said Mr Msambachi.

Mr Msambachi said that they are collaborating with Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) to identify the kind of seeds which are potential and disseminate the technology to the farmers.

“Soybean is not a food security per se but we are entering into the market in collaboration with farmers to learn technology and know what type of soybean and seed is suitable for the relevant environment due to climate change to increase the number of farmers so that they can be productive,” Mr Msambachi said.

He said that the programme is for one year which started early this year and will end in March 2024.

On his part, the FtMA Programme Officer – Market, Mr Lusajo Bukuku advised the youth to grab the opportunity to enter into soybean farming because the programme provided free education on how to prepare the farm, the type of seeds up to harvest as well as post harvest.

“Young people should take advantage of this opportunity because this crop is marketable, especially industries that make food for animals, humans and also beer companies,” said Mr Bukuku.

Moreover, he said FtMA will make sure to have a market which works better for smallholder farmers, by fostering partnerships with Farmer Service Centres (FSCs) or other Agri-related businesses.

“We provide education on the value chain of the soybean crop until post harvest. We teach them to add value to the soybean. We want to sustainably improve smallholder farmer incomes and resilience as well as to develop commercial viability for all stakeholders.

“The goal is to enable sustainable food systems through strengthened markets to empower farmers to increase their yields, incomes and resilience and to improve African food security,” said Mr Bukuku.

A farmer from Pawaga Ward in Iringa District, Twalibu Hubwa commended FtMA for helping them because they used to cultivate traditional farming where they used to harvest 18-20 sacks in one acre but after getting education, they harvest 30-35 sacks per acre.

We are grateful to WFP through FtMA for providing us with new agricultural technology and for providing us with quality seeds and reliable markets because now we have been able to build modern houses and pay children’s fees,” he said.

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