TZA Country Report 2021 Blog Post

The 2021 TASAI Tanzania Country Report summarizes the findings of the TASAI study conducted in Tanzania in 2021 by the TASAI team and local seed industry experts. The results highlight several positive developments since the last TASAI study in 2016. Given its geographical location, Tanzania has significant potential and competitive advantages over neighboring countries to develop a vibrant seed sector. Evidence from this report suggests that with continued growth, Tanzania can be a potential hub for seed production in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Regarding seed sector research and development in Tanzania, the number of new varieties released increased from 50 (between 2014 and 2016) to 64 (between 2018 and 2020). While 70% of these new varieties were released by the private sector, less than 32% of them had climate-smart features. In terms of industry competitiveness, there is high growth potential for maize seed in Tanzania as supported by the number of breeders, varieties released, and the competitive market despite competition from parastatals and the absence of subsidies. While over 70% of the seed market is controlled by the private sector – led by maize and soya bean with over 90% market shares – government entities control larger market shares in the rice seed market (82%). Overall, Tanzania’s seed industry can gain from greater private sector control over the production and marketing of seed.  

Under the seed policy environment, the enactment of the new Plant Health Act (2020) has simplified the process of obtaining import and export permits. In addition, the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) has introduced digital tools for field inspections, seed certifications, and labelling processes. These innovations suggest that measures are being put in place to improve the efficiency and transparency of Tanzania’s regulatory seed environment.  

The results of the Tanzania study also highlighted that the environment for institutional support has improved. Members’ satisfaction ratings for the Tanzania Seed Trade Association (TASTA) increased between the 2016 and 2020 TASAI studies. However, the number of public extension officers is not sufficient to meet the needs of Tanzania’s smallholder farmers. This indicates that there is room for improvement to strengthen the provision of agricultural extension to deliver better service to smallholder farmers. 

The report was published following a successful dissemination meeting in Arusha, Tanzania on December 16, 2021, where the findings were validated and discussed by members of Tanzania’s public and private seed sectors.