Smallholder farmers tutored to venture into farming as business

The Agriculture Markets Development Trust (AMDT) has called on sunflower farmers in Manyara Region to Venture into Agribusiness that ensures high productivity per acre as it involve effective use of farm inputs.

AMDT official in charge of sunflower project, Martin Mgallah made the call over the weekend when speaking during the official visit of the organization’s board members.

During that tour which was aimed at inspecting and learning the successes made by the sunflower industry in Manyara Region and noted that he was satisfied with the successes achieved so far.

He said despite achievements, there is high demand for the crop in the region a move that also assures the farmers of a reliable market both in the region and beyond it.

“Let me assure sunflowers farmers who are just beginning to cultivate the crop that there is an available market here in Manyara, We are committed to educate farmers by linking them with services providers as well as help them to get quality seeds which will enhance bumper harvests,” He said

Mgallah added that if farmers would follow instructions from experts on the use of quality seeds, Tanzania would get away with the importation of cooking oil, with showing that almost 60 percent of cooking oil is imported.

In his remarks the assistant Regional Administrative Secretary for Manyara, Anza Ndossa said, in Manyara sunflower is one of the strategic crops which authorities have been advising farmers to grow because the soil in region supports the crop.

“Sunflower is one of the crops that we believe is the key to national economy and the coming of partners such as AMDT and QFP is a great step because by the end of the day it will help the farmers to improve their lives economically” he said

Despite having some of the best agricultural research institutes in Africa, Tanzania has not followed best practices that can lift farmers out of poverty.

Tanzania produces 1.8 million tons of groundnuts yearly but this end up being sold at a small because farmers keep them in their houses for lack of markets.

Data from the Tanzania Edible Oil Association shows the country spent $230,000 to import oil despite being one of the leading countries in research and production of the crops.

President Magufuli recently accused some local business people of sabotaging local industries to perpetuate importation of key products for their self-interests at the expense of the general public. The head of the state said most business people imported refined cooking oil labeled it as crude to access the country’s borders.