THE Ministry of Agriculture will in the next few days work on strategies to increase production of Sunflower from 768,188 ton yields in 2017/2018 to 1,500,000 tonnes in 2020/2022.
However, the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industries, Engineer Stella Manyanyapegged the estimates for 2019/2020 as being 820,905 tonnes.
According to Eng Manyanya, production of wheat is also expected to rise from 56,651 ton yields in 2017/2018 to 100,000 tonnes by 2021/2022 fiscal year, further citing estimated production in 2019/2020 as being 85,000 tonnes.
That was her speech in Parliament adding that there is serious shortage of agricultural raw materials for local industries to pick up.
“As at now there is a shortage of raw products from sunflower and wheat as the crops can only serve 40 percent of the needed capacity,” she pointed out, adding that the government allows importation from other countries.
The deputy minister made the revelation while responding to a question by the Nsimbo MP, Richard Mbogo(CCM), who had argued that a lot of foodstuffs including wheat flour, cooking oil, juice and others use a lot of raw materials from outside the country, affecting the country foreign currency stability.
He also noted that the process also reduces investments in the country, and reducejob opportunities, slow economic growth and local farmers’ income.
“What is the government doing to help protect infant industries in the country and to what extent has the government implemented agricultural policy on this?” he asked.
He also wanted to know how the importation of raw materials without following the government procedures has caused imbalance of payment.
In response, she noted that the government will continue to invite investors from within the country and outside to invest in agricultural sector, especially on production of strategic crops.
She named the crops as sunflower, sesame,palms and cotton which are important in production of edible oil.
Equally, she cited the production of wheat and barley for the local industries and use to be important in the country.
EngManyanya added that through the strategy, the Serengeti Breweries Limited has increased purchase of its raw materials in the country from 4,500 tonnes in 2016 to 14,292 tonnes in 2018.
On the imbalance of payment, the deputy minister stated that there are still no records.