Tanzanian authorities said on Tuesday that the country is facing a shortage of over 110,000 tons of high quality seeds for key crops, including oil palm, sunflower, sisal, wheat and maize.

“In 2019, only 71,000 tons of quality seeds for various key crops were produced in the country against a required demand of 186,500 tons of seeds annually,” said Japhet Hasunga in the capital Dodoma, the Minister for Agriculture.

He directed the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) to embark on research and production of the seeds and help the country reduce importation of seeds which he said was detrimental to the country’s agriculture development.

Hasunga made the remarks when he commissioned seven brand new tractors to be used by the institution for production of seeds.

Geoffrey Mkamilo, TARI director general, said most of private seeds producing companies in the country were only producing seeds for maize and beans because demand of seeds for the two crops was high.

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