The country’s largest and state-of-the-art Seeds and Kernels Laboratory will be constructed in Morogoro Region at the cost of nearly 1 billion/-.
According to the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute the facility will cost around 980 million/- and is to be established at the TOSCI headquarters in Morogoro.
Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute has so far inspected and registered more than 647 seed varieties for diverse crops in the country.
The new laboratory is part of Tanzania’s move to upgrade seeds and kernel inspections and certification through digital technology development.
This modern laboratory is planned to be accomplished within the ongoing financial year.
The Project is being executed through the Agricultural and Fisheries Development Program under the coordination of the Prime Minister’s office.
Dr Patrick Ngwediagi is the Director General of TOSCI who explains that the construction of the high-tech facility will go in sync with the construction and rehabilitation of other seed laboratories across the country.
“There is a potential increase in demand for quality seeds in the country, it is therefore vital to be better equipped in order to assure farmers in the country get quality seeds to improve both quality and quantity of their agricultural products,” he said.
Dr Ngwediagi points out that, with improved inspection facilities, the country will be able to address the problem of counterfeit seeds being infiltrated into the agricultural sector.
TOSCI received 12.6 billion/- for its fiscal year operational budget which also entails the implementation of several projects, including the ones for improving the seed sub-sector in the country.
The institute is recognized internationally since it has been accredited to International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and admitted to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Seed Certification Schemes.
It now means that seeds and kernels produced in Tanzania and certified by TOSCI can be distributed both in the country and exported to be used in other countries of Africa and overseas.
Tanzania is also a member of the International Union for Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).
Headquartered in Morogoro the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute is responsible for field and seed inspection, sampling, seed testing, variety evaluation and verification through National Performance Trials (NPT), Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability tests (DUS) and control plot testing.
TOSCl also runs four other zonal branches in Mwanza, Arusha, Njombe and Mtwara.