DAR ES SALAAM, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) — The Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) said on Monday plans were afoot to produce mass hybrid seeds to boost crop yields across the east African nation.
Geofrey Mkamilo, TARI Director General, said preparations have already been made to ensure that all 18 research centers of the institution across the country started producing high quality varieties of seeds to be distributed to farmers.
Currently Tanzania imports about 70 percent of seeds for various crops from abroad, and this situation recently made President John Magufuli to urge TARI to ensure that enough seeds were produced locally and be distributed to farmers.
“High quality seeds will be produced in demonstration farms in the 18 centers. Our aim is to discourage dependence on imported seeds that does sometimes not suit the country’s farming environment,” said Mkamilo.
He said each research center will be tasked to produce seeds for crops that grow in certain areas, adding that the seeds to be produced in these centers included cashew nuts, sunflower, potatoes, maize, sorghum, beans and vegetables.
“Following the massive production of seeds in these research centers, shortage of seeds will remain history in Tanzania,” said Mkamilo.