The new TENERA seedlings will be grown on an additional 1,000-acres of land in this starting agricultural season at Uvinza district.
The additional 1,000 acres of land was requested by the National Service Major General Charles Mbuge to Uvinza district council through Kigoma Region at the launching of planting exercise of TENERA led by the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa in May this year.
The Prime Minister Majaliwa responded immediately and directed the region to provide the Military Camp adequate land at Uvinza district to grow the edible oil crop.
Handing over the improved commercial oil palm variety (Tenera), TARI Director General Dr. Geoffrey Mkamilo applauded General Mbuge for leading the Military to effectively and efficiently contribute to addressing the problem of oil in the country.
“General Mbuge’s request was followed by another directive from the Prime Minister that required TARI to produce more TENERA seeds for the oil palm farms.
“We have heeded the government directive. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed TARI to make sure that enough TENERA seeds are produced on time and distributed to all public and private institutions including Bulombora Military Camp,” he added
According to Dr. Mkamilo, under favourable conditions, the 70,000 improved commercial oil palm variety (Tenera) seeds can produce an average of not less than 56,000 seedlings which are enough to cover 1,000-acres.
Receiving the seeds on behalf of Bulombora Military Camp commander, the farm Manager, Major Godfrey Mwakabole thanked TARI for close cooperation with the Military Camps in the region.
He said TARI has constantly been providing improved commercial oil palm variety (Tenera) seeds for production and dissemination to the farmers and other stakeholders. We have been directed by the government and Major General Charles Mbuge that production and dissemination of these TENERA is a continuous exercise. We believe even the youth who are serving their national service here will graduate with enough hands on skills,” he said
“We at Bulombora Military Camp, we have now enough knowledge and skills to develop TENERA seeds into seedlings. We therefore invite people around this area, be it individually or in smaller groups and other stakeholders as well to come and learn step by step so that they can grow successfully the crop in their own farms,” he said
Oil Palm project gives an opportunity the youth to learn hands-on skills and so far the project has swayed a number of youth who wish to be agri-entrepreneurs.
One of the girls who is serving the National Service at Bulombora Military Camp Sala Marwa said they have been exposed to various agribusiness value chain enterprises and farming technologies.
She said the youth like her have gained knowledge and experience. Citing an example, she said that she has learnt preparation of the Oil palm farm, production and their agronomics.
“I know the importance of the Oil palm, their varieties and value chain. Forexmaple, processing of thi crop can give you several products along the value chain such as edible oil and washing soaps,” she said.
Kigoma Regional Agricultural Advisor Joseph Lubuye commended TARI for the good work saying the region is currently promoting the crop and sensitizing people across the region so that once the rain season starts, many can be able to visit the district councils and take the seedlings.
“The district councils have put in place good plans for thi crop and the farmers. We are currently getting many requests from small and large farmers who want to invest in plantations,” he said.
Commenting on the regional preparation of planting season of the improved commercial oil palm variety (Tenera), Kigoma Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) Dr. Rashid Mchata said Kigoma region has prepared a total of 46,000 acres covering the land in the district councils and other areas for panting the seedlings.
“TARI has done a very good work to produce and distribute the improved commercial oil palm variety to the farmers in our region. Our task is to make sure that we work with the district councils, and other institutions like the military to distribute them to the farmers for planting in this agricultural rain season,’ he said.
He urged TARI to work with the private sector through technology, and along the value chain so that the region can realize fast and better results.
“I urge you to work very close with the private sector, because they seem to have useful technologies that can contribute positively to the development of the crop in the region,” he said.