TARI Director General Dr Geoffrey Mkamilo made this observation at a board meeting held at the TARI Naliendele centre in Mtwara region yesterday, underlining that its research centres have released various new improved varieties of high quality oilseeds enough.
The stocks are adequate for Tanzanian market with a surplus, with available seeds intended to enable cultivation of high yielding varieties of sesame, groundnuts, sunflower, oil palm as well as cashew.
He said that improved technologies are being developed continually, and so far in the 2021/22 season, the government has allocated 2.5bn/- for research activities on oil palm and 500m/ for sunflower, as better seeds will boost production and address the shortage of edible oil in the country.
At the Naliendele centre, researchers have produced surplus oil seeds for groundnuts, sesame and cashew nuts crop, whose seeds are similarly available in abundance.
The director was explaining to board members the real demand situation for improved oil seeds and the TARI production capacity, elaborating that TARI has greater capacity to produce all oil seeds needed.
The problem is slow uptake by farmers, district councils and other stakeholders.
“If these stakeholders will accelerate the rate of adoption and grow the seeds under the right agricultural practices, oil importation would soon be history,” he said.
The national coordinator of the oil seeds research program, Joseph Nzunda said that for the year 2020/21 TARI Naliendele produced 35 metric tonnes of high quality LINDI 02 variety of sesame but until now abiout 17 metric tonnes have been taken by farmers and the district councils, even after writing to the various districts to go and pick up the oil seeds.
“These LINDI 02 sesame variety are of high quality most preferred by farmers and companies. They are white in colour and have more than 55 percent of oil content,” he said.
Research continues and until now this technology has been transferred and promoted to almost twelve regions in the country for the farmers to understand its management,” he added.