Tanzania has launched a five year project aimed at increasing paddy productivity so as to stir up the country’s economic growth.
Margaret Ndaba who is the Project Coordinator said its aim is to ensure that paddy production brings productivity to farmers.
“We also aim at increasing productivity through irrigation and modern technology through intensive farming which utilizes very little water,” she commented.
She said about $3.38 million (Tsh.8.4billion) will be spent in Tanzania mainland whereas $2.27million (Tsh.5billion) to be spent in Zanzibar for the same project.
She noted that the implementation of the project will be undertaken by the government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, and the incorporated project will involve improvement of quality paddy seeds.
Adding that the availability system which will be monitored and implemented by the Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA), Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute (MARI) in Dar es Salaam and the Tanzania Official Seed Certification (TOSCI).
Ndaba noted that the 2015-2020 project will also focus on improvement of markets by building five warehouses for paddy storage to handle paddy produced through irrigation schemes and that the focus will also be on building infrastructure like roads in inaccessible areas.
She classified these irrigation schemes as those situated in Morogoro region (250km form Dar es Salaam) namely Kigugu and Mbogo in Mvomero district, Mvumi in Kilosa district which will also be expanded, and the Kilangali seed farm.
Schemes listed for Kilombero district are Msolwa Ujamaa and Njenje while eight schemes have been spotlighted for Zanzibar in the same project.
ASA Director Dr. Frimin Mizambwa said quality infrastructure alone without empowering farmers will not help achieve the targets.
Source: East African Business Week