Africa-Press – Tanzania. THE Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) has urged the farmers to increasingly use certified seeds, so as to up farm outputs.
TOSCI Seed Inspector, Mr Joseph Pagu, told the ‘Daily News’ during the ongoing Agriculture Exhibition (Nanenane) in Lake Zone argued that certified seeds have all manufacturer details that have been proven by TOSCI to make the farmers get good harvests for ensuring food security and improving people’s health.
“For instance, if the details indicate that a seed contains a certain kind of nutrition, it is drought resistant and disease tolerant, TOSCI must examine and approve,” he clarified.
It was further noted that the best seeds are obtained through scientific researches, whereby the seeds are made from the harvest of a particular farming season.
“Sometimes, the best seed comes from a combination of various types of other seeds. That is how the research works to help farmers opt better seed for productive agriculture,” he insisted.
In order to have the best seeds, Mr Pagu directed the farmers to call *150*00# on their mobile phones and see certified seeds details, including among others, breeding information, manufacturer’ address and the batch number.
Mr Pagu commented further that certified seeds are useful in addressing climate change impacts, since farmers are advised on what crops to be cultivated in line with the existing weather conditions.
However, TOSCI has not yet certified vegetable seeds, but only cereals, affirmed the seed inspector.
Meanwhile, the power tiller supplier, Kirasa Company Limited advised the farmers to form groups to benefit from tilling and seed-sowing machines. Having formed the groups, the farmers would be linked to financial institutions, whereby they pay an upfront of 20 per cent of the total price of the machine that members have chosen.
After upfront payment, the members are given the machine and continue with loan repayment according to agreement with the bank, said one of the company directors, Mr Rashid Bisanga.
But, individual farmer can pay 75 per cent of a total price of the machine, and pays the remaining amount in six months, with no interest.
“Individuals are also connected to Banks to benefit from a 20 per cent upfront payment. That is how we facilitate agricultural activities in an effort to encourage productive farming and larger investments by Tanzanians,” he said.