Sunflower farmers receive improved seeds

26Dec 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Sunflower farmers receive improved seeds

AT LEAST 300 sunflower farmers in Kondoa and Chemba districts, Dodoma Region have received improved seeds from a project being implemented by a local non-governmental organisation, Livelihood Basix Tanzania (LBT) in partnership with the government.

The project aims at assisting farmers with free quality sunflower seeds, agro mechanisms as well as imparting them with knowledge over standard sunflower growing methods.

LBT country Director Atilio Mbwilo noted that  the training is offered in partnership with Kibo Seed Company Ltd, Ilonga Agriculture Research Institution and extensional officers from Chemba and Kondoa districts.

“The biggest challenge facing many farmers is lack of money to purchase quality seeds as well as lack of market for their products,” he said.

Speaking during the launch of the crop’s new planting season in Chemba, he said the project insist farmers to join in groups, opening group’s bank accounts to assure them for their sustainability and investing into large plantations.

Speaking after handing over at least 174kg of sunflower quality seeds to famers in Chemba to launch a growing season, Chemba District Commissioner (DC), Simon Odunga asked the farmers to use the training and assistance from the project effectively.

He challenged the farmers to use the project to fight poverty from their households and the community at large. “ The fifth phase government’s major mission is industrial economy and sunflower is a much needed raw materials for sunflower oilseed industries,” said Odunga.

Dodoma and Singida regions are famous in the production of sunflower but most farmers involved are yet to benefit from their activities due to poor farming methods and lack of enough capital to invest into large plantations.

In recent years, the government and the private sector initiated various efforts to help spur performance of the farmers so as to boost sunflower oilseed processing industries. Among the initiatives  had been  the decision by the government to include the two region among regions that are benefiting from SME Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund.

Others on-going projects majors in boosting sunflower growers in the two regions the Agriculture Markets Development Trust (AMDT) and the 2016-2020 a Sunflower Development Strategy Plan.

Among other regions cultivating sunflower  include Mbeya, Rukwa, Katavi, Njombe, Singida, Shinyanga, Manyara, Lindi and Mtwara.

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