Investing in soya beans farming

04Jul 2019
Friday Simbaya
Iringa
The Guardian
Investing in soya beans farming

SMALLHOLDER farmers in the southern highland regions have been advised to invest in soya beans value chains by engaging in large scale farming of the crop due to growing demand of the product for edible oil and animal feeds.

Care International Tanzania, programme coordinator for Iringa office, Blandina Karoma gave the advice recently during the annual knowledge sharing workshop with various stakeholders held in Iringa region.

Karoma said the organization is implementing the 'Kukua ni Kujifunza' (KNK) programme in partnership with Tanzania Grassroots Oriented Development (TAGRODE) of Iringa and Women and Poverty Alleviation in Tanzania (WOPATA) to support rural farmers lifting them out of abject poverty.

'Kukua ni Kujifunza (KNK)' is soya project which aims to support women farmers to improve their crop yields, family nutrition and increase their incomes for new markets.

She said the objective of the programme will be achieved through sustained investments in key value chains in the agricultural sector, including soya bean value chain.

She added that there is also a growing demand for soya beans as an ingredient in animal and poultry feeds, because soya beans contain on average 35-40 per cent protein, and are one of the most protein-rich food sources in Tanzania.

"Soya beans can be used directly as food for the households, or processed into soya milk, cooking oil, and a variety of other products, including infant weaning foods," said Karoma.

KNK is a four-year project that targets to reach 3,825 direct and 13,200 indirect community members in 15 villages of Iringa district, Iringa region funded by the Australian Aid.

TAGRODE executive director, Zubery Mwachulla said the situation before the KNK project introduction, soya beans farmers were few compared to now where there are many people engaging in the cultivation of the crop.

He said farmers are now doing well as they cultivate using quality certified seeds and seek professional advice from agricultural experts.

Mwachulla noted that TAGRODE is implementing the KNK project in Iringa district council covering six villages namely; Mgama, Ibumila, Nyamugungwe, Sadani, Kaning'ombe and Ihemi.

He said that soya bean value chain will accelerate industrialization efforts in the country, hence achieve economic development.

Mwachulla said that soya bean value chain was so much related to industrialization development, adding that it is the key to poverty eradication, reduction of high unemployment rates and overdependence on exports of primary products that underdeveloped nations are facing lies in scaling up of the industrialization agenda.

Soya bean originated in East Asia, and was introduced to Africa in the late 1880s and to Tanzania in the early 1990s. Soya beans in Tanzania are mostly grown in the southern highland zones.