By Patrick Kisembo
SEED producers in Tanzania have requested the government to permit them sell the germ to district level due to its acceptability by farmers.
Currently the producers of quality declared seeds (QDS) are allowed to sell it to ward level only which they say it is not healthy.
The producers who were trained through agricultural marketing system development programme (AMSDP II) they got the knowledge on how to produce better seeds a move which has benefited farmers.
One of the producers Mathias Mtwale asked the government to allow them to sell seeds outside the Ward border so that they can distribute good seeds but also increase their income.
"The seeds we produce--we well-established producers are of good quality and have never stopped germinating to the point that farmers have hope and trust in them. The only problem we are facing is that the government has pinned us to them these seeds in our wards only,” complained Mtwale.
Mtwale who produces his seeds Chitego ward, Kongwa district in Dodoma said their seeds are slowing down the farmers' cost because after harvest, seeds can be picked from the same harvested seeds and replanted again contrary to other seeds which cannot be repeated once harvested.
"I produce maize seeds, sorghum, sunflowers and now I'm researching on cassava seeds. But all seeds which I produce are worth replanting again after the harvest" he said.
Commenting on the request to distribute seeds beyond ward level, the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) director general and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Patrick Ngwediagi said the producers are trusted because they were trained by the government.
"Laying limits does not mean that they are not trustworthy but it's only the institutional procedure in setting limits for production and distribution of seeds," said the director general.
Dr. Ngwediagi said however that if they want to distribute seeds like other companies, they must follow the procedure so that they can officially enter into the seeds business.
"These QDS producers have been trained to produce seeds in areas where large seed producers and suppliers have not yet reached, but if they also want to sell to other areas, and then have to follow the processes,” he stressed.
There are 145 registered companies in the country producing and selling seeds in the country with 516 estimated seed producers in the country.