TARI saves over 5bn/- used in importing oil palm seeds

03Jan 2020
The Guardian
TARI saves over 5bn/- used in importing oil palm seeds

TANZANIA Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) has saved the government 5.4bn/- that would have been spent to purchase 900,000 “Tenela” modern oil palm seeds for free distribution to farmers in the programme to develop oil palm growing in Kigoma Region.

Instead, in using its experts from TARI-Kihinga who are researching oil palm crop, it has succeeded to produce the same “Tenela” seeds and distribute for free to government institutions and farmers in all districts of Kigoma Region to implement the directives from Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

Speaking during the distribution of 50,000 “Tenela” seeds to Kwitanga prison that is cultivating a total of 60,000 acres of the oil palm crop, TARI Director General Dr Geoffrey Mkamilo said the government’s money has been saved after the researchers used their own expertise to produce the seeds that were initially supposed to be imported from outside the country.

He said the seeds are used to produce palm oil in various countries that grow the crop and sold at an average price of between 6,000/- to 8,000/- for private institutions that import from foreign countries as well as big oil palm growers in Kigoma.

Dr Mkamilo said the researchers from TARI-Kihinga succeeded to fuse “Dura” oil palm seed that has been grown by farmers for many years but produce little yields with “Persifela” with a large shell by using modern technology to produce “Tenela” which is used in many oil palm growing countries including Malaysia that leads in palm oil production in the world.

Kigoma Region Agricultural Officer Joseph Rubuye said the strategy now is for all councils to partner with TARI to make seedbeds for high quality “Tenela” oil palm seeds and distribute for free to farmers.

He stressed that every oil palm farmer in Kigoma Region will be given “Tenela” seeds for free from respective council authorities adding that what is required is for farmers to register themselves and state the size of their farms. He said they will also be accorded with extension officers from TARI for farming expertise.

Some of oil palm farmers in Kigoma Region including Pili Ryiyagazi from Kigoma Rural District asked the government to speed up distribution of the seeds.

He said old “Dura” seeds used since the times of their grand fathers were now not profitable as they take an average of ten years to start production while “Tenela” seeds start producing only after three years.