The development set to start in the next farming season is part of a chain of strategies by the government to improve production of the crop with an eye to enable Tanzania to increase production and to provide for China's high demand of soybeans, which stands at 400,000 tonnes annually.
The plan will see different local and international companies directly purchasing tonnes of soybeans from farmers at reasonable prices.
Dr Meshack Makenge, national coordinator of grain legume research from Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) told The Guardian in an interview that the move was also gearing to set a uniform price of the economic crop.
“The vision is to have all soybean farmers registered, in terms of their locations and farm land capacity. So far 49 companies have been registered to purchase the crop from farmers,” he stated.
He added that the strategy was focusing to ensure the crop is being cultivated in more areas and levels, than past years.
“For instance, from the coming season the crop will be grown by farmers in all regions with maize flourishes,” he said.
In addition, Dr Makenge said that the parent ministry was implementing a viable strategy for the availability of better seed varieties among the farmers.
“China market requires soybeans with grain protein content of at least 40 percent, but our beans are at 37 percent, this needs supply of more improved seeds to farmers so as to produce a quality crop,” he detailed.
He added that the ministry of agriculture has tasked the Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA) to import improved varieties from outside (Zambia) in order to overcome the challenge.
“TARI will continue working round the clock to ensure for mass production of soya beans seeds varieties at it different centers, added: “The focus is to produce pre-basic seeds and distribute them to the Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA) and other seed companies for the seed’s multiplication at the level of certified seeds and basic certified seeds,” he said.
Dr Makenge further stated the move will also see the farmers imparted with key knowledge on how to produce quality declared seeds in order to curtail the shortage of soya bean seeds at different areas.
Presently, TARI has already inverted and produced at least four varieties of soya beans, namely Uyole Soya 1, Uyole Soya 2, Uyole Soya 3 and Uyole Soya 4, however added that other seed producing companies in the private sector have also produced other varieties of the economic cash crops.
As per relevant records, production of soya beans in Tanzania is currently standing between 2.5 to 3 tons per hectare through the use of improved seeds, whereby local varieties are usually producing between 0.3 to 0.5tons in a hectare,” he unveiled.
The region with friendly weather and soil to support cultivation of soya beans in Tanzania include Mbeya, Iringa, Songea, Ruvuma, Manyara, Arusha and Morogoro.
“Soya beans flourishes well in areas of sandy loam soil and which receives rainfall of at least 400 to 800millimeter,” he observed.
Tanzania is the third country in the world for the production of legume (pulses) after Indian and Myanmar.
According to Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe, in March this year Tanzania exported the first consignment of 140 tonnes of soybeans to China. China annually spends more than USD40m/- to import soybeans and Tanzania is among the 12 countries so far green-lighted to export the crop to China.