Tanzania potato variety registration guidebook launched

Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands, has made a significant stride by launching a guidebook for registering potato seed varieties. The event was linked to the Potato Seed Platform, an initiative aiming to improve local potato farming and ensuring food security through strengthening the potato seed sector.

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The launch event was attended to by Dr. Patrick Ngwediagi, Director General of TOSCI, the Guest of Honor Mr. Bob Shuma, the chairman of the Potato Seed Platform, and two members of the platform, Mr. Geoffrey Kirenga (CEO of SAGCOT) and Mr. Bart Pauwels (Agriculture Counsellor of the Embassy of the Netherlands). The launch was followed by distribution of books to all key stakeholders present and involved in the potato sector.

Potato partnership between Tanzania and the Netherlands

Over the past decade, the partnership between Tanzania and the Netherlands has attracted Dutch potato farmers to register their varieties in Tanzania, bringing vital investments to the potato value chain. Potatoes are essential for food security and income generation, and efficient farming practices are crucial. With over 250 potato varieties, the Netherlands emphasizes diversification in potato production. Over the past ten years, Tanzania has attracted few International Dutch potato seed breeders like HZPC BV, AGRICOEuro plant, to mention a few. The collaboration led to the registration of 12 Dutch potato varieties in Tanzania, recognized for their disease and drought resistance, as well as high yields (25-50 tons per hectare).

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Agricultural Counselor Bart Pauwels

The guidebook, endorsed by Dr. Patrick Ngwediagi of TOSCI, provides valuable insights for farmers and investors, facilitating high-quality seed production and sector growth. The Embassy of the Netherlands pledges continued support, aiding TOSCI in developing guidance for commercial registration of potato varieties. Launching the guideline, the guest of honor, Dr. Patrick Ngwediagi together with the Agricultural Counsellor of the Netherlands Embassy, Mr. Bart Pauwels, emphasized on the use of the variety registration guideline, and not to be turned as a museum. Highlighting on the importance of seeds, for efficiency and productivity in potato farming, a call was made to investors to register more seed varieties to provide the farmers with choices but also the farmers to make use of quality seeds alongside with agronomic practices to potato sector transformation.

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Ambassador Wiebe de Boer

 “Potato is a staple food for ensuring food security, generating income for farmers, and creating employment opportunities. The launch of the Potato Variety Registration guideline signifies a significant step forward, paving the way for new partnerships, increased investments, and expanded opportunities” - H.E. Ambassador Wiebe de Boer

Dutch fact finding mission in Tanzania

In the same week, a delegation of 30 Dutch researchers, farmers, breeders visited Tanzania for a fact finding mission. The intention was to update about the Tanzania potato sector and the market needs in developing the new varieties. The group visited the potato production areas Iringa, Njomba and Mbeya, and engaged with farmers, cooperatives, to collect feedback on the performance on the ground and what needs to be improved. In the end, this group visited the market also to get in-depth understand of the market needs. This group was privileged to also attend the launch of the variety registration guideline and network with the potato stakeholders.

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A group photo of HZPC potato seed breeders mission visiting Tanzania for a fact-finding Mission.

Special thanks to the seed platform secretariate for facilitating the events and for the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) for financing the event.

More information

The Embassy provides regular updates on developments in the agriculture sector. To receive the updates follow us on our X (Twitter) account  @NLAgriTanzania  and/or subscribe to our newsletter by sending an email to  dar-lnv@minbuza.nl.