TOSCI to equip over 500 farmers with quality seeds

DAR ES SALAAM: MORE than 500 farmers are expected to receive training from Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) to raise awareness on quality seeds, ultimately boosting productivity.

The initiative will ensure food sufficiency in the country as well as a surplus for exports hence boosting national income.

Speaking to ‘Daily News’ recently, TOSCI Quality Assurance (seeds) Officer Mr Maulid Mwakatobe said the training will help farmers verify their inputs, including seeds, control the use of fake seeds and enable them to obtain inputs on time.

“The training will help them know how to verify seeds, but also have the capacity to train others, the application of the skills will also help them produce productive products which are of healthy,” he said.

Mr Mwakatobe said using mobile phone, whether it is a smartphone or a feature phone, farmers can verify the seed package purchased, and get sufficient instructions that can help them a great deal in their farming activities.

“We obtain sufficient information, indicating the date on which the seeds were produced and the expiry date, among other essential details that enable farmers to make informed choices,” he pointed out.

TOSCI Officer in Charge of Lake Zone Martin Msongoma said the workshops will be of benefit because they teach farmers to check the veracity of the seeds they purchase before using them.

“TOSCI works with other stakeholders to educate farmers to verify the seeds they want to grow. This will bring benefits to the agricultural sector by eliminating the use of fake seeds,” he said.

He said this is also an opportunity for farmers to use the education that they will get as a chance to teach as well as sell the seeds to other people who need quality seeds.

Elaborating, she lauded the Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe, for ensuring that women and young people engage in agriculture as a business and recognize the importance of having quality seeds for improving the sector.

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