TANZANIA – The Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) plans to train more than 500 farmers in a bid to raise awareness of quality seeds and ultimately boost productivity.
Speaking to ‘Daily News’, Mr. Maulid Mwakatobe, TOSCI Quality Assurance (seeds) Officer noted that the training will help farmers verify their inputs, including seeds, control the use of fake seeds, and enable them to obtain inputs on time.
“The training will help them know how to verify seeds, but also have the capacity to train others, the application of the skills will also help them produce productive products which are healthy,” he said.
According to him, the initiative will ensure food sufficiency in the country as well as a surplus for exports hence boosting national income.
Martin Msongoma, TOSCI Officer in Charge of Lake Zone pointed out that the workshops will be of benefit because they teach farmers to check the veracity of the seeds they purchase before using them.
“TOSCI works with other stakeholders to educate farmers to verify the seeds they want to grow. This will bring benefits to the agricultural sector by eliminating the use of fake seeds,” he said.
He said this is also an opportunity for farmers to use the education that they will get as a chance to teach as well as sell the seeds to other people who need quality seeds.
Mr. Mwakatobe emphasized that by using a mobile phone, whether it is a smartphone or a feature phone, farmers can verify the seed package purchased, and get sufficient instructions that can help them a great deal in their farming activities.
“We obtain sufficient information, indicating the date on which the seeds were produced and the expiry date, among other essential details that enable farmers to make informed choices.”
The initiative is unveiled at a time when President Samia Hassan’s dream dubbed “Tanzania can feed Africa” has gained backing and now is a serious agenda for the government.
The agenda entails raising the production of food and cash crops and registering food crop surplus for export.
Njombe Regional Commissioner Antony Mtaki recently said that Njombe, Iringa, and Ruvuma Regions have recorded food crop surplus raising prospects of realizing President Samia’s dream of ‘Tanzania can feed Africa’ by 2030.
The RC said President Samia is very keen on increased crop production, explaining that that is why subsidized fertilizers are being distributed to farmers.