THE Ministry of Agriculture has expressed its zeal to invest heavily to revitalise and boost the production of Pyethrum from the current 2400 tonnes to 5,000 tonnes per year by 2025.
Responding to a question from Mbeya Rural MP Oran Njeza, Minister for Agriculture Japhet Hasunga said that through the implementation of the 10- Year Strategic Plan (2011-2021) that targets at strengthening pyrethrum production in southern regions, the government is implementing several measures to ensure that the farmers benefit from the crop.
In his basic question, Njeza wanted the government's plan in increasing production as well as boosting the access of the pyrethrum cash crop to the growing demand at the global market.
Minister Hasunga said that in a bid to increase production of the crop the government has decided to bring together farmers into forming groups where so far a total of 137 groups of farmers have been formed.
"Through formation of these groups farmers have been exposed to knowledge that has led to improvements in the quality of the produced yield which has steadily improved to 1.3 per cent against the international required average standard of 1.24 percent," Hasunga said.
According to him, the government has continued to encourage farmers to join the Agriculture Marketing Co-operative Societies (AMCOs) where so far three AMCOs have been registered and other 10 are in the final stages of registration.
He asserted that despite all these efforts, the governmnet will also continue to provide education to farmers on the application practices (GAPs) to increase production and improve the quality of market that meets the global market demand.
The government will continue to encourage investment especially value addition where there are currently two processing plants in the country, namely Tanextract factory located in Inyala Region and Pyrethrum Company of Tanzania (PCT) factory located in Mafinga, Iringa Region," he said.
He however added that the industries are capable of processing between 2800 and 3000 tonnes each per annum.
The government will continue to encourage farmers to engage in commercial agriculture through the contract farming system. The government will also continue to conduct domestic and foreign market research using envoys representing Tanzania in ther respective countries to ensure that the country wins access to the global pyrethrum market," he added.