Pyrethrum researcher from the Uyole Centre of Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI-Uyole) Baraka Mvile revealed this over the weekend when speaking with this paper.
He said that as of now the country pyrethrum production is between 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes per year while demand is great in Africa and the world in general.
It is estimated that the global demand is over 16,000 tonnes and the price has been going up rapidly due to its use in making pesticides and as domestic aerosols.
Mvile said the biggest global pyrethrum producer is Australia with 8,000 tonnes per year, but of whose quality is incomparable to the Tanzania’s crop.
Mvile further said the biggest challenge in the research of better seeds for pyrethrum production is financial resources and added that as of now they depend on the pyrethrum factory at Mufindi for processing who have been selling the concentrates thereof to the United States.
He appealed to the government to allocate enough funding for the crop’s research.
TARI-Uyole crops director Daud Mbongo said low pyrethrum production is attributed by farmers using old seeds with low yields and added that the only solution is to ensure the research centre produce modern technology seeds.
TARI-Uyole Director Dr Tulole Bucheyeki said pyrethrum is unique for the manufacture of pesticides that are environmental friendly and safe to the users.
He said as of now it is estimated that more than 20,000 farmers are engaged in the production of the crop in Mbeya, Songwe, Njombe, Iringa, Arusha, Manyara and Kilimanjaro regions, even though large production is concentrated in the Southern Zone regions.
TARI Director General Dr Geoffrey Mkamilo said they are now looking for financial resources for research of quality seeds for the crop.