Tanzania Reveals High-Yield Palm Oil Variety


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Tanzanian research institutes have discovered new high-yielding Palm Oil seeds set to boost the cultivation of trees and the production of edible Oil in the country. The new variety of Palm Oil seeds called Terena has gone through trials in some of the cultivation areas in the country, such as Kigoma, Kagera, Tabora, and Coastal regions, and has shown promising results.

Announcing the good news during a swearing-in of state leaders in Dodoma in early March, Tanzanian Premier Kassim Majaliwa said that the discovery is a significant step made by the research institutions in the recent past for the agricultural sector. “The Government has been strategizing to increase local production of Palm Oil seeds to reduce dependence on importation and end price fluctuations; hence this discovery is a big breakthrough for the country,” said Majaliwa. He has also urged Small Industries Development Organizations (SIDOs) to continue developing excellent and simple Palm Oil milling technologies, enabling Tanzanians to produce more and better Oil in the country.

According to Smallholder Oil Palm Handbook Module 1, in Oil Palm, the best yields are produced by hybrids like Terena, a cross between two types of parents, namely dura and pisifera Palms. The mother Palm hybrid dura fruits have a thick shell, while the father Palm pisifera fruits have no shell—a cross between the two results in hybrid tenera fruits with thin shells. Terena Palms produce up to 30 percent more Oil than their parents; their fruits have brown/black fibers in the outer covering.

To realize its target of producing 700,000 tons of edible Oil a year, Tanzanian Government instructed Agriculture Seeds Agency (ASA) to produce 15,000 tons of quality seeds for distribution to farmers in various regions by 2025. “We have a strategy to increase the size of land used for seeds multiplication from 15,000 hectares to 250,000 hectares to increase the number of seeds produced annually,” said Anthony Mavunde, Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Agriculture.

He said the Government increased the Ministry’s budget from Sh294 billion to Sh751 billion in 2022/23, enabling the agency to meet its seeds multiplication target of 10 percent growth reaching 2030. The principal crops for edible Oil production in Tanzania are sunflower, Palm Oil, groundnuts, sesame, soya beans, and cotton.

Mr.Majaliwa also instructed commissioners in the Oils production regions to ensure that they introduce standard Palm Oil measuring scales instead of local containers known as Bidoo, designed to exploit smallholder farmers. “Citizens should not be exploited by Bidoo measuring units which are not regulated by the law, and a buyer using such measures should be reported, and action is taken,” he added. Farmers have been exploited a lot through Bidoo measuring units, especially in cases where buyers enlarge a 20 liters container using hot water to increase its capacity to 25 liters and end up paying the price of 20 liters.


Vegetable Oil Output and Import in Tanzania

Tanzania produces 205,000 tons of cooking Oil annually through Oil seeds against a demand of 570,000 tons. The deficit is imported from Malaysia, India, Singapore, and Indonesia for $204.7 million annually. Shortage of edible Oil has pushed retail prices from $1.3 to $2.8 per liter. Tanzania has been a steady market for Malaysian Palm Oil, with annual imports of over 200,000 tons. The market is primarily for refined Palm olein, but last year’s situation changed due to the abolishment of CPO import duty effective 1 July 2022. The import duty on CPO had been previously set at 25%, but after the revision took place, it has been observed that the ratio between crude and refined is about 55:45 in favor of crude products.


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