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Tanzania signs agreement with The Netherlands to boost Potato Production

According to research trials by the International Potato Center, the right potato varieties can boost the yield of these potato farmers in Tanzania by as much as a factor ten (Courtesy: CGIAR)

June 18, 2016
Potato growers in Tanzania stand to benefit from a new agreement between Netherlands and Tanzania, targeting to help farmers in the country boost the tubers production as well as being provided with potential market outlets abroad.

The Netherlands Minister for Agriculture; Mr Martijn van Dam and the Tanzania Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries William Ole Nasha, have just inked a special agreement on potato seed importation requirements as well as launching the Potato Trade Mission.

Tanzania Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries William Ole Nasha:

"Potato production in Tanzania currently stands at 1.7 million tons a year, from the around 200,000 hectares of the area dedicated to growing the tubers."
He added that the current rate of harvesting 8 tons per hectare is far less than the country's potential to reap 30 tons per hectare.

According to the Deputy Minister, Tanzania has only four varieties of potatoes; Meru, Tengeru, Ahsante and Sherekea, while the Netherlands boasts over 100 varieties and through the newly signed agreement, local growers will benefit in introducing and sourcing improved varieties.

Ole Nasha:

"Land disputes, substandard inputs, especially seeds, lack of knowledge in executing modern ways of farming and effects of climate change have all served to stifle potato growth in Tanzania."
The Netherlands, Minister for Agriculture, Mr van Dam said they intend to repeat their successful intervention as experienced in Kenya where they managed to assist farmers in the neighbouring country to boost their potato harvests for more than five times.