TARI to produce 100 tonnes of sunflower seeds

IN a bid to increase cooking oil production in the country, the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) plans to produce a total of 100 tonnes of Early Generation Seed (EGS) of sunflower seeds.

Tanzania is a major sunflower producing country in Africa behind South Africa, but still the country imports up to 400,000 metric tonnes of edible oil to cover its current demand of 650,000 metric tonnes.

Addressing the media on Wednesday when the Agricultural Markets Development Trust (AMDT) visited the sunflower seeds project in TARI-Ilonga agricultural research centre in Kilosa, Morogoro Region, Centre Director-TARI Ilonga Dr Emmanuel Chilagane said in the 2022/23 farming season they expected to produce 100 tonnes of sunflower seeds.

”Before AMDT invested in TARI Ilonga agriculture research centre , in the last year’s farming  season the institute produced little but in 2022 we have produced 40 tonnes  of sunflower seeds through the sunflower seeds project implemented by TARI in partnership with AMDT  and we expect to produce about 100 tonnes of sunflower seeds,”  he underscored.

Moreover, he said the contribution of the project in the availability of EGS is great while emphasizing the continuation of cooperation between TARI and AMDT to reach the 10/30 agenda.

In particular, Dr Chilagane commended the sixth phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan for creating an enabling environment for the private sector to collaborate with the public sector in bringing about agricultural reforms.

In a related development, the TARI Ilonga centre director underlined the importance of the use of quality researched seeds among farmers in the country to increase productivity.

According the report unveiled by the AMDT, a total of 5bn/- have been invested to facilitate various interventions meant to transform sunflower and pulses subsectors in 11 regions across the country.

“The investment also focuses on interventions that feed into the government’s priorities in the agricultural sector as defined in the Agenda 10/30 and the Agricultural Sector Development Programmes (ASDP) II.”

Commenting on the investment, AMDT Chief Executive Officer Charles Ogutu underscored the need for partnerships for development between the Public and Private Sector actors as a means of consolidating efficacy and deliverability in Tanzania’ agricultural transformation.

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