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Crop Biotech Update

New Sunflower Seeds Improve Yields in Tanzania

May 9, 2018

The field trials of high-yielding and pest-resistant sunflower varieties in Tanzania showed promising results. A long term facility has been established by the Agricultural Markets Development Trust to address the challenges in sunflower farming and marketing. Successful development of better sunflower varieties would lead to improved supply of sunflower oil, which is cholesterol-free.

Trials have been conducted in nine out of 12 regions where the sunflower program is being implemented. These regions include Iringa, Njombe, Songwe, Rukwa, Singida, Shinyanga, Manyara, Lindi, and Mtwara. The trials were conducted outside the normal sunflower season and were in wetlands or areas where irrigation farming has been conducted.

Farmers who have tried the hybrid seeds of sunflower expressed their appreciation for the benefits that they gained. Bernard Lema, of Mtinko Village in Singida District, said that his production has increased significantly. "I normally harvest six sacks of sunflower in one acre. In the trials, I bought four kilos of seeds for sowing in one acre. After following expert recommendations such as proper spacing, use of required fertilizers, weeding and observing proper harvesting time, I harvested 16 sacks in one acre."

For more details, read the article from All Africa.