THE government has embarked on the formalisation programme for sunflower producers in Dodoma and Singida regions in efforts to curb shortage of the edible oil in the country.
Property and Business Formalisation Programme (Mkurabita)’s Director Jane Lyimo told the ‘Daily News’ during the ongoing Nane Nane exhibitions in the central zone that the move was in line with the government’s quest to increase the amount of edible oil in the country.
Speaking at Mkurabita’s Nane Nane pavilion, Ms Lyimo noted that the formalisation programme for the crucial crop was being rolled out in three districts of Chemba, Bahi and Kondoa (Dodoma region) and in Sindida’s Iramba District.
“Our target is to enable smallholder farmers to increase production volumes of sunflower to get rid of shortage of edible oil in the country, a move that has been forcing the country to import huge amounts of the product from outside the country,” she noted.
According to the Property and Business Formalisation Director, the government was targeting to have at least four villages in each district producing sunflowers in a formalised manner.
“We will engage different agricultural stakeholders who will provide capacity building to farmers on the modern technologies of conducting their activities as well as having access to the best seedlings,” she added.
Ms Lyimo further added that Mkurabita would equally engage sunflower processing industries that will purchase raw materials from farmers who would be linked to those factories.
Also, she said farmers would be linked with different financial institutions where they would have access to concessional loans to help them boost their capital.
The target, according to Ms Lyimo, is to have at least 10,000 sunflower farms that would help in reducing edible oil deficit in the country.
This is part of its plans that Mkurabita is implementing in the 2022/23 financial year, among them prioritizing agri-business in efforts to move from subsistence farming.
In the sunflower programme, she said that the target was also to reach out to all districts of Dodoma region.