TANZANIA – Tanzania’s Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) has launched a guidebook for registering potato seed varieties in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands.

This initiative aims to strengthen the local potato farming sector and ensure food security. The launch was part of the Potato Seed Platform, which seeks to improve potato farming in the country.

Dr. Patrick Ngwediagi, Director General of TOSCI, attended the launch alongside Mr. Bob Shuma, chairman of the Potato Seed Platform, and other stakeholders. Attendees received copies of the guidebook, which will help guide the potato sector.

Tanzania-Netherlands potato partnership

Over the past decade, the partnership between Tanzania and the Netherlands has brought Dutch potato farmers to Tanzania, investing in the local potato value chain.

Potatoes play a key role in ensuring food security and generating income, making efficient farming practices essential. The Netherlands offers over 250 potato varieties, focusing on diverse potato production.

In the past ten years, Tanzania has registered 12 Dutch potato varieties known for their disease and drought resistance and high yields (25-50 tons per hectare).

Collaborations with Dutch companies such as HZPC BV, AGRICO, and Euro Plant have driven the registration process.

The guidebook, endorsed by Dr. Ngwediagi, offers valuable insights for farmers and investors to facilitate high-quality seed production and sector growth.

The Embassy of the Netherlands pledges continued support in developing guidance for the commercial registration of potato varieties.

Dr. Ngwediagi and Mr. Bart Pauwels, Agricultural Counselor of the Netherlands Embassy, emphasized the importance of using the guidebook for its intended purpose, rather than as a reference piece.

They also highlighted the need for efficient potato farming using quality seeds and agronomic practices.

Dutch delegation visits Tanzania

During the same week, a delegation of 30 Dutch researchers, farmers, and breeders visited Tanzania for a fact-finding mission.

Their aim was to gather information on the Tanzanian potato sector and market needs to develop new varieties.

They visited potato production areas such as Iringa, Njombe, and Mbeya, interacting with farmers and cooperatives to understand their experiences and challenges.

The delegation also visited local markets to gain insights into market demands. They attended the launch of the guidebook and engaged with other stakeholders in the potato sector.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) funded the event, while the Potato Seed Platform Secretariat facilitated the launch and associated activities.

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