Tanzania and the Netherlands are joining forces to develop a thriving potato seed sector in Tanzania. This decision was made during a workshop attended by both public and private stakeholders interested in horticulture and the potato industry, according to Agroberichten Buitenland.
The Minister of Agriculture of Tanzania and the Netherlands ambassador highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships in promoting a sustainable potato industry in Tanzania.
Dutch certified potato seed varieties
The collaboration has already led to the registration of 12 Dutch certified potato seed varieties in Tanzania, which could significantly boost productivity. The government is working to create a conducive environment for the private sector, initiating discussions on crop-specific HS codes and long-term land lease agreements. A new avocado guideline was also launched to support the development of the avocado sector.
The Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Hussein Bashe, and the Netherlands ambassador to Tanzania, H.E Wiebe de Boer, acknowledged the longstanding partnership between the two countries. They met with farmers in the Southern highlands who reported successful harvests due to the use of high-quality certified potato seeds and the adoption of best agronomic practices.
Battling postharvest loss of food
The horticulture sector in Tanzania is experiencing rapid growth. In 2022, the country exported 30,000 metric tons of horticultural produce. However, there is a significant concern regarding a 40% postharvest loss of food when it reaches the Dar es Salaam market. Efforts are being made to address this issue, improve coordination, minimize losses, and ensure timely availability of quality certified seeds to farmers.
The Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture is working closely with the Tanzania Revenue Authority to develop crop-specific HS codes, which were not in place before. This will not only increase efficiency but also reduce post-harvest issues. The Ministry is also set to discuss with the private sector and secure a long-term land lease agreement for seed multiplication purposes.
In the fight against unemployment, food security, and business creation through exports, the Minister assured stakeholders of the Ministry’s commitment to finding sustainable solutions together. The Ambassador of the Netherlands thanked the Minister for his vision on agriculture in the coming years and assured continued good relations with the Netherlands.
Source: Agroberichten Buitenland. Read the full news release here
Photo: Feico Born, HZPC BV