‘Local seeds reliable for most food needs’

18Jan 2021
Marc Nkwame
Arusha
The Guardian
‘Local seeds reliable for most food needs’

​​​​​​​ACTIVISM against genetic modification of grain seeds and other food varieties is catching up, with the National Network of Farmers’ Groups in Tanzania (MVIWATA), lately requesting that the state conduct an operation to sweep out all seeds derived from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), st

They also appealed to the government to promote the use of traditional seeds as they are safe, reliable and proven to yield better results in food production.

John Safari. MVIWATA chairman in Arusha Region said that  it is vital for state organs to comb all major grain outlets, especially supermarkets and department stores found in cities, to take off the shelf all packaged food products containing genetically modified organisms.

He said the network supports the recent directive seeking the total prohibition of GMOs in the country, conveyed by the Minister of Agriculture, Prof Adolf Mkenda.

For his part, the network’s secretary general, Richard Masandika said that 80 percent of seeds used in Tanzania are traditional kernels derived from farmers’ own seasonal harvests, and 20 percent are hybrids described as high yielding varieties.

“Traditional seeds are cheap, safe, and healthier and boasts drought and disease resistance, adapt to the environment and are readily available,” pointed out Masandika, citing the advantages to sticking to traditional kernels that have always been reliable.

Anna Efatha, the deputy chairperson of the network, said traditional seeds, especially of crops such as maize, features great taste and allow farmers to select what is best for their farms, unlike imported varieties that are not produced with a particular area in mind. Read More...https://epaper.ippmedia.com

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