Agency needs 77.9bn/- to boost seeds production

By Valentine Oforo , The Guardian
Published at 11:03 AM Apr 02 2024
Dr Sophia Kashenge, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tanzania Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA)
PHOTO: Valentine Oforo
Dr Sophia Kashenge, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tanzania Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA)

THE Tanzania Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA) need a total of 77.9bn/- in 2024/2025 fiscal year in order to fulfill its key role of producing sufficient seeds for various key crops in the country.

The agency’s board convened over the weekend in Morogoro region to discuss the needed budget for 2024/25, and key intervention for seeds multiplication.

Speaking during the meeting, the chairman of the Board, Dr. Ashura Kihupi said that if endorsed by the parliament, the proposed budget will assist the agency to stand on a better aside to produce enough seeds and seedlings for key crops.

She urged the government to consider the proposed budget with 'an extra eye' in order to enable mass production of seeds, and expansion of irrigation schemes at numerous ASA's seeds estates.

Speaking during the meeting, Dr Sophia Kashenge, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA) hailed the board for setting up the proposed budget, saying if passed by the Parliamentary, it will enable the agency to produce the kernels in a more comfortable manner.

"We're still facing some challenges that diluting our key mission to produce seeds, including irrigation infrastructures at our seed estates and thus, we’re looking forward that the proposed budget will help us to solve these challenges, if endorsed, " she expressed.

And Dr Kashenge expressed one of the priorities in the financial year 2024/25 as to expand improved seed production areas from the current 5,857 hactares to at least 6,790 by 2025.

"The other vital targets that we are targeting to implement include plans to increase production of improved seed from 3,548 tons to 9,000tons by 2025/26," she unveiled.

However, she appreciated the efforts being injected by the ministry of agriculture to stabilise the general performance of the agency, especially in boosting seed production. 

Dr Justin Ringo, the ASA's Director of Production, on his part said the agency has set up a number of useful implementable strategies to help improve production of improved seeds.

When the proposed budget will be accepted, Dr Ringo said, will enable the entire set strategies see the light of the day.

Tanzania needs an estimated 250,000 hectares to quench the county's seeds thirst by producing at least 300,000 tons annually.

Currently the total area used for seeds production in the country is around 16,000 hectares, whereby seeds production is only at 50,000tons.