On his side, Arusha District Commissioner (DC), Hon Kenani Kihongo, when he flagged off the annual seeds forum, noted that the favourable food security situation in Tanzania is a result of the commendable work done by agriculture stakeholders which has also led to increased internal and external agribusiness.
Production and availability of quality seeds have led to food security and production of surplus for internal and external trade, he noted.
“I congratulate you for producing quality seed,” he told Seed researchers, adding that they are very vital for the development of the sector, which still remains the backbone of the economy. He commended them for not only being great seed researchers but also being committed to the development of the nation(patriots).
He said stakeholders should be relentless in spreading uptake of innovative agricultural technologies for economic development. “Continued production of quality seeds and making them more accessible to farmers is vital,” he said.
The DC rooted for agriculture in the Arusha Region, saying the stakeholders there should take advantage of strategic infrastructure projects such as SGR from Morogoro to Dodoma.
“We have a railway line from Dar es Salaam – Tanga – Moshi – Arusha… farmers should rest assured that their crops will be marketable to those destinations. We have a goods train that has started operations to Arusha as well, he noted.
The road to the future was bright, as agricultural processing was bound to increase. “As we construct one of Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power production at Rufiji, we will have more than enough power, which is vital for industrial growth. This will lead to agricultural produce being processed at our own industries. Farmers will get more income from their produce,” he noted.
The convenor of the meeting, the Executive Director at the Tanzania Seed Trade Association, Mr. Bob Shuma, said it was important to promote research and development, publicity, education and training in the seed subsector.
“We advocate for legislative actions and engage in the harmonization of regulation governing the seed sector throughout Tanzania so as to catalyze faster growth of the seed industry,” he noted.
He was emphatic that Agricultural research and the seed sector play an important role in improving the Food and Nutrition Security in Tanzania.