Tanzania: MAPTL Urges Farmers To Use Modern Farming Tools, Certified Seed Varieties To Boost Production
By Michael Sikapundwa, Morogoro
THE Morogoro-based Mahashree Agro-Processing Tanzania Limited (MAPTL) has called upon Tanzanian farmers to effectively use modern farming tools, and certified improved seed varieties to improve production.
MAPTL’ s chairman, Kamalesh Maheshwari made the call here over the weekend at a special meeting of livestock, farmers, and fishery stakeholders whose aim was to discuss solutions to increase the production of paddy and sesame which were selected as strategic crops.
Organized by Morogoro District Council and chaired by the Morogoro District Commissioner, Albert Msando and brought on board agricultural stakeholders including Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA) Southern Agricultural Growth Corridors of Tanzania (SAGCOT).
Maheshwari said that is set to produce approximate 200,000 metric tons of pulses, spices, and oil seeds needed in the factory, noting that the company’s target is to support smallholder farmers in Tanzania particularly Morogoro to be the big producers of exported commodities all over the world.
MAPTL exports commodities like pulses including green mung, chickpeas, pigeon peas, beans, soybeans peanuts while spices included black pepper, cloves and Oil seeds including sesame.
He mentioned exported countries all over the world, currently have already exported in major parts of India, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Middle East, Japan, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, and Kenya but Tanzania produce only 10 percent.
He said, to overcome underproduction, the company has allocated over 500m/- for supportive activity extended to the farmers where farmers were given free seeds and buying their crops.
“Projects which allocated funds as Sesame and spice organic projects in Morogoro, groundnuts project Mpwapwa district council in Dodoma region and pigeon peas projects Babati district council in Manyara region, ‘’ he added.
The company’s agro- coordinator, Henry Williard pointed out middlemen as among of challenges facing farmers not reaching their target of production due to the provision of loans with strong restrictions hence some farmers are discouraged to produce more.
“We need financial institutions to assist farmers to access soft loans with simple interest as to support them to afford cultivation costs from farm preparation to harvesting,” he said.
“Besides from banking services have to be built in rural areas as to avoid long walk distance for farmers come town to access it. Lacking such services put MAPTL company’s insecurity during purchasing season because we transport over 100 million which is dangerous ” he added.
Williard congratulated the effort of six regimes under President Samiha Suluhu Hassan for showing interest in supporting smallholder farmers by increasing the budget in the agricultural sector in the financial year 2000/23 situation forced them to do the same.
District agricultural, and Irrigation official, Chesco Lwaduka said strategies to increase sesame production from 1 ton per hectare to 1.2 ton per hectare by the end of 2025, he mentioned the production areas as Mkambalani, Mikese, Ngerengere, Gwata, Kidugalo, Kisaki, Bwakila chini, Mvua, Kolero, Tununguoa , Lundi, Kiroka,Tomondo, Kidugalo, and Mngazi wards.
“Before starting the project, a council through my office has started the program of identifying farmers who are ready to cultivate sesame, second provision of training about crop farmers and extension officials, third monitoring cultivation from the farm to market stage,” he explained.
Earlier this month, Former Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda who was a guest of honor at the enclosure of Eastern zone regions’ farmers ‘ day held in Morogoro region, pointed out Agricultural institutions have to question themselves to what extent their papers have solved farmers’ challenges.
Pinda said: “It’s a shame a region located with a good geographical location, fertile soil, and international agricultural university but its people suffer from malnutrition and low production in their annual harvest.”