The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said that Tanzania has recorded improvement of rice production in some areas, thanks to the proper implementation of Partnership for Sustainable Rice Systems Development in Sub-Saharan Africa project.
The Organisation Representative to Tanzania Mr Fred Kafeero said that production has increased in the various project areas and that farmers have doubled rice production from an average of 20 bags of paddy to 40 per acre. He made the revelation yesterday in Morogoro during the closing ceremony of the project.
The project started in 2016 and in Tanzania, it was implemented in Kilosa, Mvomero and Kilombero districts in Morogoro region.
“Small farmers have managed to improve their lives through this project, some have been able to establish some businesses including buying and operating motorcycles ‘bodaboda’ businesses,” he said.
He added that the practice has in turn improved the incomes and livelihoods of farmers and their families through construction of better houses, paying school fees for children and affording health insurance covers.
In 2017 a small group of 150 youth who were trained on SRI. Today over 600 youth and 2000 adult farmers are scaling up the rice production method in project areas and beyond.
He said the trained farmers are now involved in training their fellows in various areas in the region.
The FAO Rep noted further that rice is a staple crop in many countries including Tanzania and that in this part of Africa, Tanzania is the second main rice producer after Madagascar.