Production of Tanzania hybrid seeds is expected to reach 30,000 metric tons by 2015 in a move to help address the current 60,000 metric ton shortage of certified hybrid seeds and enhance the country’s agricultural sector.
According to the Tanzania Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Godfrey Zambi, the construction of a USD 13 million seed processing plant by Seed Co. Tanzania Limited will help to address the shortage.
Speaking during the official launch of the seed processing plant, Michael Ndoro, Chairman of Seed Co. East Africa, praised the Government of Tanzania for the creating a supportive framework and an environment that was both enabling and reassuring to investors.
““This newly built plant will enable processing efficiency, effective grading and treatment of our seed products and that way, enhance the quality of seeds offered to our farming communities” he added.
Mr. Ndoro went on to explain that the overall objective will be to reduce their dependence on imported seeds in order to ensure Tanzania food security.
According to Hon. Zambi, agricultural growth in Tanzania has stagnated between 4% and 5% annually and needs to grow by at least 10% annually in order to meet the target outlined in the second National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP II) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The agriculture sector in Tanzania contributes nearly 26% of the country’s GDP and 30% of the foreign exchange earnings while also employing nearly 80% of the local population.