Potato guidelines book billed to increase production

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 08:20 PM Mar 17 2024
Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherland to Tanzania Wiebe de Boer
Photo: Netherland Embassy
Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherland to Tanzania Wiebe de Boer

THE government and Embassy of the Netherland have launched potato varieties registration guidelines book billed to enhance food security.

Speaking recently during the launch of the book in Dar es Salaam, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherland to Tanzania Wiebe de Boer told the audience that it was a significant step towards enhancing potato production in the country.

 “This is a journey that has been shaped by a decade-long partnership between Tanzania and the Netherlands over the past 10 years and has attracted Dutch potato breeders to register their potato varieties in Tanzania,” he said.

 He said that it also attracted vital investment in potato varieties value chain thanks to the immense potential of potato as a staple that can endure food security, generate income to farmers and create employment opportunities.

 Boer said efficiency and productivity in potato farming require the use of quality seeds alongside sound agronomic practices that fuel the growth of the agriculture sector.

He said in the Netherlands, there were over 250 potato varieties cultivated for various uses, including boiling, French fries, crisps, baking, seed production and starch processing.

 Dr Patrick Ngwediagi, Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) director general said the guidelines book would help framers, local and foreign investors who are interested in investing in potato production.

 “The launch of this guidelines book is indeed an important milestone because the book will help farmers to be well informed about the policies and laws that govern agriculture sector as well as highlight challenges and opportunities available in the country,” he said.

 Dr Ngwediagi explained that the book would help farmers and innovators step-by-step to register their seeds in the country and produce quality seeds to enhance the growth of the agriculture sector.

 Bart Pauwels, regional agricultural Councillor at the Netherlands Embassy, said the embassy will continue collaborating with the government, nongovernmental organisations and the private sector to promote potato production.

 “Good agricultural practices are an engine for the growth of the agriculture sector. The Netherlands Embassy will continue supporting potato production by improving the agricultural practices in ways such as introducing new technology and technical know-how,” he explained.

For 10 years now, Tanzania and the Netherlands have been collaborating in potato production. Through this collaboration, 16 potato varieties are registered and out of the varieties, 12 are Dutch varieties that result in high yields, are drought and pest resistant.

The move is expected to attract more potato breeding, production and processing. To further support the sector, the embassy facilitates TOSCI to produce step-by-step guidance on procedures to follow if an investor wants to register potato varieties for commercial purposes.  The guidelines have been endorsed by TOSCI for use in Tanzania.