The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

How Sunflower growers in Tanzania can benefit from Russia-Ukraine War

In Japan, ‘Business is War,’ but in Tanzania, the Eastern Europe War between Ukraine and Russia could mean roaring Business to the farmers who grow and trade in Sunflowers.

With the ongoing war in Eastern Europe, Tanzania is set to become the sole supplier of sunflower based, edible oils to Kenya and Ethiopia, the two countries that used to import their sunflower oil supplies from Ukraine.

Going for over a year now, the Russia versus Ukraine War have been disrupting supplies from the Eastern European Countries with products such as Wheat and Sunflower Oil being heavily affected.

The Recent ‘Tanzania Sunflower Market Assessment Report’ indicates that once constraint affecting Tanzanian farmers get addresses the country will become the sole or main supplier of sunflower oils to Kenya, Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.

But first, the local farmers have to win their own war against inaccessible farm inputs and myriad costs at home.

The Project Manager for Farm Africa in Tanzania, Tumaini Elibariki believes that improved and hybrid seed varieties that are essential to sunflower production should be easily made available to small holder farmers in the country.

“The Russia and Ukraine conflicts have severed supply channels from Eastern Europe and the two countries have been the leading producers of sunflower products, which means the local growers in Tanzania stand better chance of filling the void,” Elibariki points out.

At the moment demands for sunflower products, including edible oil are on the rise.

Farmers are not even capable of satisfying growing domestic market at their current rate of production, but once empowered with inputs and waived charges, the growers could increase product to realize bumper yield plus surplus for export.

Recommendations from the report include proper access to improved and especially the highly yielding hybrid seed varieties by smallholder farmers.

“This can be achieved by fostering partnerships between farmers, farmer organizations (FOs) and Agricultural Marketing Cooperatives (AMCOS), as well as influencing local agro-dealers to stock proper farm inputs including kernels and fertilizers,” the Farm Africa official maintains.

Sunflower farming accounts for 6 percent of the arable land currently under agricultural schemes in Tanzania.

At least one million smallholder farmers in 19 regions of the mainland Tanzania are engage in Sunflower growing and these are mostly found in the Central Zone as well as on the Southern Highlands.

Singida is the region which is always synonymous with Sunflower production

To address the challenge of poor production and supply of sunflower seeds the government has empowered the Agricultural Seeds Agency (ASA) to offset the deficit by churning out 2088 tons of standards sunflower kernels.

The project valued at 5.84 billion/- will see the distribution of improved seeds varieties to farmers in 21 regions of Tanzania.

The total demand of sunflower seed in the country is around 5,252 MT while availability of improved seeds is less than 400 MT, the tall, and thus ASA under government directives, managed to acquire and processed total of 2088 tons of Standards sunflower seeds to spur distribution among farmers and restrain the deficit.

Farm Africa is an international organization working to build a prosperous rural

Africa through helping farmers to increase their harvests, build their incomes and sustain natural resources, partnering with governments and the private sector to find effective ways to fight poverty.

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