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Tanzania Govt to distribute over 40,000 tonnes of certified seeds in coming seasonqrcode

Feb. 7, 2014

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Feb. 7, 2014
Tanzania government is set to distribute 40,000 tonnes of certified seeds in the market outlets across the East African nation to scale down fake seeds that are likely to be penetrated by some rogue traders.

Bob Shuma, Executive director of the Tanzania Seed Traders Association, said on Monday more than 40,000 tonnes of improved seeds will soon be distributed for this year's planting season.

Shuma said there are enough seeds for this year's planting season, assuring farmers that they should not worry on the availability of improved seeds in the market.
He said that local seed breeders produce more than 35,000 tonnes of seeds and the country imports only 15,000 tonnes annually.

"As seed breeders we're determined to increase production of seeds so that no importation is made. We want to ensure that seeds are locally produced and get away with importation of seeds," he said.

Annually, Tanzania needs 60,000 tonnes of seeds to meet the country's demand.
On measures taken to address counterfeits, the official said that seed companies have been educating farmers through farmers' exhibitions which are held on regular basis across the country.

"We have been cautioning farmers on the danger of using fake seeds," he said, adding that there is a big risk as some farmers may end up buying counterfeits, which also lead them into losses as they cannot get the expected results.

"We have been calling farmers from time to time on the need for them to only buy seed at its licensed agents and ensure they verify lot numbers. They should also insist on being issued with receipts on purchase," he said.

Despite the fact that agriculture is the backbone of Tanzania's economy, the use of improved seeds is still low, as many farmers tend to use seeds that saved over from the last harvest.

Source: IPP media


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