The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Tanzania Churns Out New Varieties of Improved Kernels and Seedlings

In efforts to improve agricultural production in the country, Tanzania has been churning out an improved variety of seeds, kernels and seedlings and so far, nearly 25 such farm inputs have undergone official certification.

The new varieties of Seeds and seedlings from TARI have already been approved by the Tanzania Official Seeds Certification Institute (TOSCI).

These include two varieties of sorghum, four types of banana, two ranges of sweet potatoes, six variations of sugarcane, six types of bean seeds, and two newly improved wheat kernels.

There is also a new variety of paddy and two improved seeds of small green bean peas.

The Director General of Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) Dr Geoffrey Mkamilo says the new wheat varieties for instance, comprise nearly 39 percent of gluten, the highly needed ingredient required by manufacturing industries.

“Above all, the varieties have potential to produce yields of between 4 to 4.6 tons per hectare,” Dr Mkamilo stated.

For the first time also, TARI has managed to release a new variety of sugarcane kernels that can be grown under rain fed conditions, which reduces the cost of production for small scale peasants.

They are touted to be more convenient to farmers, budget wise, compared to previous sugarcane seeds that used to be produced under strict irrigation schemes by 100 percent.

According to Dr Mkamilo, the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute has essentially to increase its outputs of improved seeds from 481.23 tons in the fiscal year 2020/21 to 1,226 tons in the 2021/2022 financial year.

In the Financial Year ending in June 2023 TARI will have produced around 20 Million seedlings for avocado, palms, cassava, sugar cane, round potatoes, cashews, fruits and spices.

That is more than double rate of production compared to around 8 million seedlings, stems and plantains for such crops recorded at the Institute in the fiscal year 2021/22.

“In terms of the dissemination of the best agricultural technologies, we have succeeded in launching four Agricultural Technology Transfer Hubs, including the Nyakabindi in Simiyu,  Nzuguni in Dodoma, the Fatma-Mwasa of Tabora and the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Center in the Morogoro,” the TARI official explained.

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