Tanzania: Govt Places Emphasis On Palm Tree Block Farming

(file photo).

The government has placed great emphasis on palm tree block farming in councils with vast and productive lands as it wants to address edible oil shortage in the country.

Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe, said the ministry has devised a strategic plan to ensure palm tree farming is being conducted in such a way that it will create massive production.

Mr Bashe gave the announcement in the Parliament on Friday, when reacting to a question posed by legislator Mr Charles Mwijage (Muleba-North-CCM) on what measures are in place for the country to produce edible oil to meet the local market demand.

The deputy minister said the government has intensified production of palm trees, to halt the importation of edible oil in the country.

He said they are working closely with authorities in Kagera, Tanga, Coast, Katavi and Mbeya regions, to mobilise the public to engage in palm tree cultivation as they have arable land for the crop.

The government supports them by ensuring the use of the best and quality tree seeds and getting timely training from the extension officers on palm tree farming.

Recently, Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa said annually the government spends over 400bn/- to import cooking oil.

As such, the PM directed District Commissioners (DCs) and the District Executive Directors (DEDs) in Kigoma Region to effectively coordinate palm tree production in their respective areas.

He equally called upon them to manage a database of the farms, which among other things will contain information including the number of farmers, size of the farm and their locations.

According to him, the move will help to ease service delivery with regard to the production of palm trees.

"The government is committed to make a close follow up on the production of palm trees from the initial to securing of the seedlings. Parents, establish palm tree farms for your children for their bright futures and economic development... It will help them not to be dependent," noted Mr Majaliwa.

Likewise, the Premier urged people coming from regions which famously engage in the production of palm trees to increase cultivation to boost their incomes and the country at large.

"Invest in palm tree production for your own development and the development of your children," noted the PM. Mr Majaliwa revealed that the government has recorded great achievements in the production of cash crops including cashew nuts, tobacco, cotton, coffee and tea.

Based on the achievement made, the government has also placed emphasis on more crops including palm tree, sisal, grapes and avocado production to be grown in large quantities and boost their value.

He applauded other regions which joined the palm tree farming for accepting the government call of embarking on palm tree production, pointing out that their farm is setting a good example in the production of the crop.

In 2019, the government set aside 4.3 million U.S. Dollars to boost cultivation of palm oil as part of its strategy to end importation of edible oil. The Kigoma region in Tanzania has been resilient in this farming.

A number of strategies have been put in place to enhance more production of palm oil. The government has promised to help the farmers with palm oil seeds, which has become a priority in the agricultural sector. The farmers have been cultivating the crop early from the 1920s as it continues to gain popularity.

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