Government to equip ASA to produce 5,000 tonnes of quality sunflower

23Apr 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Government to equip ASA to produce 5,000 tonnes of quality sunflower

THE government is planning to equip the Agriculture Seed Agency (ASA) with a 10.6bn/- budget so as to enable it produce 5,000 tonnes of quality sunflower seeds and thus stimulate production of the crop in the country.

Deputy Minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe said this in the Parliament yesterday when responding to a question by Mariam Ditopile (Special Seats, CCM).

In his basic question, the lawmaker sought to know the government’s strategy to support and enable more farmers in the country to invest in the cultivation of sunflower, palm oil and groundnuts so as to, among others, cut down costs of importing edible oil.

The deputy minister said in the next fiscal year, the government will put more efforts in the production of quality seeds through ‘block farming’ in some of the regions especially for producing sunflower, cotton and oil palm seeds.

“The demand for edible oil in the country is estimated at 570,000 tonnes per year while the production of essential good estimated to reach an average of 205,000 tonnes thus making an annual deficit of 365,000 tonnes,” he said.

“This situation prompts the country to spend 474bn/- per year to import edible oil,” he said.

In her supplementary question, Ditopile asked if the government was planning to suspend the ‘Warehouses Receipt System’ for some regions including Dodoma as it carries several grievances.

Responding, Bashe said that the government will suspend the system for at least one year in five regions due to lack of strong cooperative unions.

He named the regions as Dodoma, Morogoro, Singida, Katavi and Songwe.

The deputy minister directed authorities in the regions to start registering buyers of crops who will purchase the crops at fair prices.

On produce’s market, Bashe said the government is also prepared to link farmers with various markets inside and outside the country which include furnishing farmers and traders with enough market information to enable them to decide.

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