Dar es Salaam — Pyrethrum exports from Tanzania climbed by 15 per cent during the 2018/2019 season following improved production.
Exports rose to Sh15 billion, up from Sh13 billion in the previous year, according to the Tanzania Pyrethrum Board (TPB)'s latest report.
Over 900 tonnes of different products from pyrethrum flowers including crude extract, pyrethrum powder and dried marc were exported to the US, China, Thailand, India Japan and Kenya during the season, according to TPB crop controller, Mr Frank Msambira.
"This crop is mainly for exports. Countries use it for the production of insecticide, cosmetics, food and pharmaceuticals. Farmers within the growing regions are so motivated because the market is reliable. That is why productivity is increasing," he said during the ongoing 44th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF).
In Tanzania pyrethrum flowers are grown in the southern and northern highlands which have the right altitudes and climate conditions for cultivation of the crop.
Statistics from the board indicate the production of pyrethrum flowers increased to 2,500 tonnes in 2018/2019 from 2000 tonnes recorded in 2014/2015.
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Mr Msambira said some 1,600 smallholder farmers are engaging in the cultivation of pyrethrum. They have received initial payments of Sh5 billion between July 2019 and July 2020, he said.
A kilogramme of pyrethrum currently fetches Sh2400, he said.
"We are negotiating with two factories that are processing pyrethrum flowers to see if they can invest more so that some of the products can be locally manufactured instead of exporting raw produce," he said