TANZANIA – The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) has called on government to ensure district councils set aside land for seed growing and research during a two-day seed growing course.
In 2010, the Government of Tanzania launched SAGCOT initiative as a public-private partnership initiated at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa (WEFA) Summit in Dar es Salaam in 2010.
It is dedicated to ensuring food security, reducing poverty and spurring economic development in Tanzania’s 300,000 square kilometer Southern Corridor. Its implementation period runs for 20 years up to 2030.
Briefing journalists at the end of the course, SAGCOT’s Policy Manager, Mr. Khalid Mgalamo, said during the review it was felt that there is an urgent need to improve the business environment for growing quality seed in the country.
The training, sponsored by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), brought together representatives of the government and seed companies, the TOSCI, TASTA, TRA, ASA, TARI and TAEC.
“In farming, seeds are an important link in all aspects of the production chain in the agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors. As a nation we cannot afford to belittle the centrality of seeds in pushing forward our agricultural reforms,” he said.
The Managing Director of the Tanzania Seeds Traders Association (TASTA), Mr. Baldwin Shuma, said the training has come at the right time in implementing the agricultural reforms and underscored the appeal to the government to ensure district council set aside land for seed production in order to attract investors.
“Apportioning of land will instill confidence in the investor that he will do successful business,” he explained.
Mr. Harishv Dhutia, Managing Director, Bytrade (T) Limited, said the seminar showed Tanzania’s determination to seriously implement the agricultural reforms.
TOSCI Representative, Dr Adolf Saria, added that without quality seeds, the envisaged reform will fail noting that SAGCOT had done a great job.
“A lot of sticky issues in producing quality seeds for the farming community were discussed and recommendations made,” he said.
Officials reviewed the seed policy and laws, challenges encountered and impediments in implementing the policy and laws as Tanzania battles to reform its agriculture and create employment.