The Tanzania Agricultural Seeds Agency will now be producing 300,000 Palm Oil Kernels in a year.
This, apparently, aims to heighten the country’s edible oil churning sector in line with the directives from Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa.
Tanzania spends nearly 500 billion/- in the importation of edible oils as the country is yet to be self-sufficient in this sector.
Chief Executive Officer of the Tanzania Agricultural Seeds Agency Dr Sophia Kashenge reveals that they were boosting palm oil seedlings production at the agency’s three main estates.
The agency has so far established palm oil seedlings production nurseries at the Bugaga farm of Kigoma, the Mwele farm in Tanga and at the Msimba farm of Morogoro.
“We are currently also working to install modern irrigation schemes and green houses in the estates to ensure weather independent full-time production,” she explained.
Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture announced plans to set aside 150,000 hectares of land for Palm Oil plantations.
Tanzania needs more than 650,000 tons of edible oil in a year.
However the country can only produce less than 300,000 tons of the oils.
As a result, Tanzania is compelled to spend 470 billion/- in importing 360,000 tons, an amount which is equivalent to 55.4 percent of the country’s total usage.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Anthony Mavunde says the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) in conjunction with other entities has come up with a new and improved variety of quality palm seeds known as TENERA.
The new seedlings have more yielding capacity, in fact triple production capability compared to the current kernels of the ‘Dura,’ types being applied on 90 percent of local farms.
TARI and associate firms have produced more than 14 million seeds by the beginning of 2023.
Of the 14 million seedlings the government has so far managed to distribute nearly 10 million kernels to various public farming institutions such as the National Service (JKT), Prison farms and eight district councils in the Western Kigoma Region.