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Seed production starts to address chronic shortage

20 December 2016 The availability of high quality seed of improved varieties of common bean and soy has been a challenge for the Legume Alliance in Tanzania.  The Scaling Up Legume Technologies (SILT) project has meant that a new partner has been working to address the seed shortage.

The Agricultural Seed Agency has a remit to make seed available to farmers in Tanzania and they are increasing production of both soy and common bean, as it is anticipated that the SILT project will create additional demand.

Last season 257 hectares of common beans were cultivated, producing 80 metric tonnes pure seeds after grading.  There were 3 varieties are Jesca, Uyole Njano and Lyamungo 90. In terms of cultivation, 80 metric tonne mean an additional 1,600 hectares can be planted with improved seed. By December 2016, ASA had distributed about 20 metric tonnes to agrodealers in Bashnet, Mbulu, Hydom, Katesh, Karatu, Siha, Hai, Same and Arumeru.

Next season ASA plans to cultivate 300 hectares with a projection of 100 metric tonnes of pure seeds.  The recommendation is that farmers should refresh their seed every three years – so by the end of the second year some 3,600 hectares of improved varieties of common bean should be under cultivation.

In case of Soya, last season ASA produced 11 metric tonnes of basic seeds for multiplication  to obtain certified seeds for distribution to farmers. These are split pretty evenly between three varieties Uyole Soya 1 (which is well suited to the low lying areas), Uyole Soya 2 (which is developed for the highlands) and Bossier.