The government of Tanzania has earmarked a total of 400,000 hectares of land for cultivation of wheat. Hussein Bashe, the Minister of Agriculture confirmed the report and said the move aims at ending shortage of the crop in the country.
Hussein Bashe, the Minister of Agriculture, said the 400,000 hectares of land will be cultivated with wheat in wheat growing regions within three years beginning in 2022. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Tanzania produced 70,000 tons of wheat in 2021 while the country imports between 800,000 tons and 1 million tons of wheat annually.
Speaking to stakeholders of the crop from various regions that met in the capital Dodoma, Bashe said the Ministry is in the process of distributing 50,000 tons of wheat seeds to farmers. The ministry is also planning to spend at least 155bn/- in research and development to improve crop production. He said an additional 4bn/- is required to procure and supply improved wheat seeds among smallholder farmers.
Agriculture remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing 31% to GDP and contributing 24.9% of annual export earnings, in particular through the main export crops cashew, tobacco, sugar, coffee and cotton. Tanzania records a continuous agricultural sector growth and is considered largely self-sufficient in its main staple crop maize. Cassava, paddy, sorghum and bananas are the second most widely grown staple crops by farmers.