Tanzanian Farmers Urges Government To Provide Drought Resistant Seeds

February 9, 2018 11:17 pm2 commentsViews: 34

Farmers of maize crops in Tanzania have asked the government to provide them with strong drought and pest resistant seeds so that they don’t need to buy the same from private producers at hefty prices.

A farmer in the Tanga region said, “It is high time the government facilitated farmers and other state institutions such as the National Service and Prisons Department to produce the seeds at affordable cost.”

Kidiki Swai from Kabuku village in Handeni District added meeting a team of researchers from the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, that the new breeds are impressive and simultaneously they have managed to increase yields to eight fold.

The commission and ministry were on a visit to the demonstration farms to see the performance of Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) varieties, the projects that is currently undertaken in five African countries – South Africa, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. It is aimed to enhance food security.

Swai further continued, “The demand for the new breeds is high, but the private seed producers are charging us highly, if farmers in Handeni were empowered to produce the seeds, then the prices will be lowered.”

Maize is staple food for the people in Tanzania as well as several other countries in the continent but frequent drought has resulted with low yields, resulting with hunger and poverty.

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