Weekly News Bulletin - Quality Seeds, The Foundation for Sustainable Production: 24/06/16

This week's bulletin is all about Quality Declared Seed and the role it is playing in Tanzanian agriculture

Harvesting groundnuts in Nakatete Village

Drying groundnuts on the farm at Nakatete village

Green gram on a farm in Nakatete Village

Quality seeds, The Foundation for Sustainable Production

Nanyumbu in Mtwara region is among the districts of Tanzania with the potential for production of groundnuts. However, recently the availability of groundnut seeds has been reported to be a big challenge. This resulted from negative effects caused by the Rosette virus disease, which reduced the availability of seed for production. TOAM, in collaboration with TABIO, and support from Swissaid & HIVOs facilitated farmers to produce “Farmer Managed Seeds”.

Among the groups benefiting from this intervention is Jitegemee group from Nakatete village in Nanyumbu District: “We used to plant groundnuts locally, but this time TOAM facilitated us to plant groundnuts in a modern way, such as spacing (where 10-15 cm x 50 cm is recommended). We have managed to harvest 88 buckets of unshelled groundnuts” said Mr. Mstapha A. Korman, a group chairperson. The major activities of the group, which was established in 2013 with 15 members, include farming and livestock keeping.

“Our plan is to divide groundnut seed among the members to produce more in the coming season. This time we used just one acre but next time every individual will also cultivate groundnuts in his/her own farm, and we will continue to manage our farm mainly for learning” - A chairperson insisted.

Apart from groundnuts, TOAM has facilitated the group on how to apply different technologies to improve soil fertility and management of pests and diseases using ecological agriculture, such as crop rotation.

Last year we planted sunflower here and this season we have planted green gram. Possibly next season our plan is to use the same area for cassava’’ confirmed a group chair . TOAM is planning to assist 5 groups in Nanyumbu to be certified with Quality Declared Seeds for groundnut production. This will be conducted in Masasi ,where groups will be able to produce groundnuts, sunflower and sesame either as QDS or Farmer Managed Seeds.

What is Quality Declared Seed?

Quality Declared Seed (QDS) is a system that allows seed producers to certify their seed with less demanding quality control requirements and restrictions than other formal seed certification systems. It was developed to reconcile the need for quality certified seed with the need to accommodate diverse farming systems. QDS is flexible enough to meet the varied needs of farmers, but also ensures that basic standards of seed quality are not compromised. Learn more by reading the FAO paper: “Quality Declared Seed System”, FAO, 2006