Dodoma — THE government, in collaboration with other stakeholders such as the Agricultural Seeds Agency (ASA), is set to distribute certified rice seeds to farmers in a bid to increase production per unit area.
The researched rice seeds, SARO 5, by KATRIN Crop Research Centre in Ifakara have produced impressive results such that an acre produces 37 bags weighing 100 kilogrammes each.
The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Adam Malima, informed the National Assembly that distribution of seeds has largely been done in Morogoro, Mbeya, Shinyanga, Mwanza, Iringa, Rukwa, Tabora, Manyara, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.
He was responding to a basic question by Dr Hadji Hussein Mponda (MP - Ulanga West - CCM) who demanded clarification by the government on efforts made to utilize the successful research findings on rice production by way of making the seeds accessible to farmers.
"It is true that SARO 5 rice seeds have proved to be of high yield and semi-aromatic, preferred by farmers and consumers. In the last five years, KATRIN centre produced 30 tonnes of seeds which were replanted for production of 224 tonnes of the essential grade," Malima explained.
He said the approved seeds agency (ASA) produced more seeds using its Kilangali Farm. The project was successfully carried out in collaboration with other government institutions like the prisons and national service. It was explained that between 2008 and 2012 production of seeds has been increasing steadily such that in 2008 (245 tonnes), 2009 (460), 2010 (631), 2011 (928) and last year 1,440 tonnes.