Tanzania is set to invest heavily in palm, sunflower and sesame crops in a bid to end the recurrent shortage of cooking oil in the east African nation, the country’s Prime Minister said on Wednesday.
Kassim Majaliwa revealed the plan in the country’s capital Dodoma while holding talks with Tanzanian High Commissioner to Malaysia Ramadhan Dau who paid him a courtesy call.
“We want to transform the crops with the view to having more yields so that we bring to an end shortage of edible oil in our country,” he said, adding that the transformation will include replacing the old seed species with modern ones.
The premier said despite Tanzania is known for the production of the crops with the potential to end edible oil importation, the problem of old, traditional farming methods exist which the government now wants to replace with modern methods.
Majaliwa said that Tanzania hopes to collaborate with Malaysia which has made strides in agriculture and industrialization.
Investment and thus the transformation of the three crops will not only relieve the government of the burden of importation, it will also improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the country.
Tanzania imports nearly 50 percent of its edible oil. Demand for edible oil in Tanzania stands at between 200,000 and 300,000 tonnes per year, portraying a wide domestic market and an apparent potential development of the cooking oil industry from groundnuts, sunflowers, palm oil, sesame, coconut, and cotton.