-self-sufficiency of edible oil.
Promising government support to the farmers especially supply of agricultural inputs and processing facilities, the premier directed that from now onwards all the DC’s and ED’s are supposed to identify oil palm farmers in their respective areas, keep records and data base and ensure they supervise them effectively to increase production.
The Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa gave the directive at 821 KJ Bulombora National Service in Kigoma yesterday when inspecting the progress of oil palm farming in Kigoma region saying all extension officers are supposed to work with farmers in rural areas on their farms to ensure good agricultural practices are adhered to.
The directive also goes to the government’s military institutions, TARI and the private sector saying military institutions’ farms should be centers of excellence to attract other people to go and learn how to farm the crop.
The government has moved extension officers from urban areas to rural areas so that they can educate farmers on good agricultural practices.
“The government wants to see every farmer participates fully in oil palm production and the government will support them.
He said the institutions should keep up the same spirit of increasing production and multiplication of improved seeds and supply to the farmers on time.
The Prime Minister urged farmers to establish new oil palm farms for themselves and for their children saying it is sustainable, a long term investment and profitable.
“This country today is spending more than 470bn/- per annum to import edible oil in the country. We import tones and tonnes of palm oil for processing, but it is possible to farm the palm oil and get good local and international markets,” he said.
He said it is possible to meet the demand of edible oil and produce more other palm oil related products.
He said as of now, the direction of the country is to be self-reliant in terms of edible oil and food security.
“You need to sensitise farmers, educate them, promote the crop. This is the direction of the country to be self –reliant, this is the direction of the nation that loves its people,” he said.
Earlier , while briefing the premier, the National Service Chief Major General Rajab Mabele said the national service has been implementing the government’s directives since 2019 and in a very short time the oil palm trees will start producing bunches of fruits.
“We have a target of growing 2,000 acres by 2024/25. We have been working very closely with TARI and SUA to ensure improved seedlings and soil testing respectively,” he said.
He said the seedlings are not sold but given for free to the farmers. So far a total of 125,524 improved seedlings of tenera variety have already been distributed to AMCOS and district councils for free.
For his part, TARI director general Dr Geoffrey Mkamilo assured the prime minister that his research institute is working hard to ensure there is no shortage of seedlings for the farmers, the district councils and other stakeholders.
He said TARI which is under the ministry of agriculture, will make sure that all directives are fully implemented on time.
“TARI is working very closely with the government’s military institutions such as Bulombora, Kwitanga Prison service, ASA, palm oil private companies to ensure that all directives are implemented on time,” he said.
“In the past, here in Bulombora we were talking about farm preparations, but today we are talking about 500 acres already grown palm oil and we have reached out all district councils in Kigoma region,” he added.