FARMERS have been encouraged to use better seeds of groundnuts and sunflower to up farm production and help the country produce more edible oil.
The call was made by the Tanzania Seeds Traders Association (TASTA) Managing Director, Dr Bob Shuma.
He made the plea in Dodoma on Wednesday when he visited the millet, groundnut and sunflower seeds farms operated by an agricultural expert, Mr Aithan Chaula, at Mkonze area.
He said farmers should use better seeds so that they can increase production.
“The groundnut crop has been given importance since it leads to availability of cooking oil and has been used by many families for many years,” he said.
Dr Shuma noted that the Government is making great efforts to ensure that agriculture is becoming productive by enabling seed manufacturers to produce quality and sufficient seeds that will be distributed to farmers in their respective areas.
He said the private sector is also making great efforts to ensure that farmers join various groups and are given training aimed at helping them improve their agricultural activities and providing them with quality seeds so that they can increase agricultural production.
“The push that has been used in other crops like sunflowers, we also want it to be applied for groundnut crop because there are good and quality groundnut seeds that have been researched and have been doing well in the field and yielding a lot.
“We are satisfied with the great work performed in these seed farms, the ongoing work shows that the seeds that will go to the farmers will be better and will increase production.
“Groundnut is the crop which attracts good market within and outside the country, everyone should continue supporting the government’s efforts to ensure effective production,” said Dr Shuma.
He noted that the youth should be involved and taught agricultural methods.
“In projects like this, youth should be involved, given priority and be given farms, they should be assigned to prepare them, supervise during the growing season, participate in harvesting and storage, be given opportunities to support and manage the government’s efforts,” he said.
The Dodoma Agriculture Seed Production Association (DASPA) Executive Director, Mr Aithan Chaula said the association is producing quality seeds to ensure that there is sufficient production of crops as well as ensuring productivity in agricultural activities.
He said the CIMMYT through the Accelerated Varietal Improvement and Seed Systems in Africa (AVISA) project has been able to reach farmers in many regions whereby in Dodoma Region eight wards in Chamwino District and other eight wards in Singida region have been reached.