Last year, the Premier selected the Kwitanga prison in Kigoma Region to be the national research centre for palm oil cultivation.
Majaliwa expressed satisfaction with the improved cultivation of the crop at the prison, as well as improvements done to its existing palm oil factory.
He said installation of the new machine which uses motor will boost production of oil compared to the previous time when the factory was running with manual machines.
Prime Minister is in Kigoma Region for official tour where among other things he inaugurated a new custody building at the Kwitanga prison and a tractor. He also inspected the prison’s palm farm.
Majaliwa directed the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) to come up with a technology that will help improve processing of palm oil seeds at the factory.
He however, ordered the Ministry of Home Affairs to purchase modern tools for quality harvesting. He said the current harvesting method poses danger to the people since they are required to climb the palm trees to get the seeds.
Kigoma Region head of prison, Leonard Burushi said the Kwitanga prison has increased its palm oil production to 97 barrels in the 2018/2019 from 63.4 barrels produced in the 2016/2017 season.
Burushi attributed the increased production to the directives by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa in July last year. He said the Premier directed the prison to improve production of palm oil and cultivation of the crop.
He said they have allocated a 20 acres land for construction of a modern palm oil industry, warehouses and expansion of the existing factory.
He said that both prisons, Kwitanga and Ilagala had established new palm farms.
“We have more than 150 acres at the Ilagala prison which are suitable for cultivation of palm trees. This year, he said a total of 8,550 palm trees will be planted at Ilagala prison while Kwitanga will plant 22,800 trees at its 400 acres’ farm.
During his tour in Kigoma Region in July last year, Majaliwa directed prison officials to expand the farms, increase the number of prison officers with agricultural research skills and replace current palm trees with modern palm tree seeds.
He insisted that each of the residents in the region must have a farm purposely for cultivation of palm oil.
He also ordered for the transfer of all prison officers with knowledge on palm oil cultivation to the Kwitanga prison so as to enhance the crop farming.
Over 30,000 smallholder farmers in Kigoma generate income from cultivating oil palm trees and extracting and selling palm oil.
Tanzania has 27 agricultural research institutes specializing in production of quality seeds and improvement of extension services and boosting farm productivity.
Some of the well-established institutes include Naliendele in Mtwara Region, Ukiriguku in Mwanza Region, Ilonga in Kilosa District, Uyole in Mbeya Region, Katrin in Ifakara, Selian in Mvumero, Tumbi in Kibaha, Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institutes in Dar es Salaam and Tanzania Livestock Research Organization.
The produced cooking oil at Kwitanga prison is partly consumed at the prison and distributed to Bangwe, Kasulu, and Kibondo prisons in Kigoma and other prisons in Kagera, Mwanza, Shinyanga, Singida, Dodoma, Morogoro and Tabora region.