TANZANIA has embarked on an ambitious plan to increase production of oil seeds to address the recurrent shortage of edible oil.

This will not only increase crop production and consumption, but also create both the local and international markets.

The use of improved seeds and empowering farmers in modern farming methods are among the strategies implemented in various seed oil producing areas in the country. Oil seeds are produced in almost all regions in the country.

The major sources of edible oil in Tanzania are sunflower, palm, groundnuts, sesame, soya beans and cotton.

This shows there is the likelihood to produce more edible oil for domestic consumption and export, but traditional farming methods have been a stumbling-block in this regard.

For example, Tanzania is the leading producer of coconut in Africa, but still its initiatives to develop and increase production does not benefit its farmers.

The government has been encouraging farmers to grow modern seed varieties and apply good methods to boost production and generate more incomes for improved living standards.

To ensure the sustainability of the edible oil sub-sector, the use of improved seeds, inputs, and appropriate agronomic practices would guarantee farmers better yields, resistance to pests as well as drought and herbicide tolerance are extremely important.

Frequent farmers’ training in better agricultural technologies to cultivate oil seeds is needed to help seal production gaps.