The Government of Tanzania has instructed agricultural experts from various research institutes to invest and research the best types of fertilizers and provide such expertise to fertilizer factories in the country.
The order was issued by the Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Adolf Mkenda during his visit to the Minjingu Fertilizer Factory where he was accompanied by experts from research institutes including the Tanzania Tobacco Research Institute (TORITA), the Tanzania Tea Research Institute (TRIT), The Research Institute of Tanzania Tanzania Coffee (TACRI), and the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI).
Prof. Mkenda said that the research would help identify better and more effective fertilizers for farmers, which would reduce the cost of importing fertilizers from abroad.
He reminded that Tanzania has been spending more than USD 200 million importing fertilizers every year and that if the product is produced in the country it will bring more productivity to a nation different from what it is now.
Prof. Mkenda added that in this financial year (2021/2022) the government will increase funding for the agricultural sector in the area of research and extension measures that will help bring agriculture into a competitive economic development.
During the visit, one of the members of the Board of Directors of the Tanzania Fertilizer Regulatory Authority (TFRA) Ms. Veronica Sophu, who represents smallholder farmers through MVIWATA, asked the Government to put in place a mechanism to lend to farmers’ cooperatives so that they can buy fertilizer through a joint fertilizer procurement system (BPS), a move that will help farmers get the product at a cheaper price.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of TFRA Prof. Anthony Mshandete has commended the government for the instructions it has been taking to help its Board reach more farmers by delivering the required fertilizer through BPS.