KONDOA – Smallholder sunflower farmers in the KONDOA District of TANZANIA are appealing to the government for support to expand their cropping and get reliable markets.

Sunflower production benefits women (Pic. IPPMedia)

The DAILY NEWS says they have told reporters they have been encountering a number of challenges in acquiring quality sunflower seeds, while the shortage of extension officers is also a serious production challenge.

It quotes members belonging to a group of female sunflower farmers from the MBUMAMA Group of BUMBUTA Village in the district as saying they are failing to produce enough due to poor seed quality.

The Chairperson of MBUMAMA says the 43 members of her group are from MBUBUTA, MAHONGO and NKUNDULU villages, and they produce a number of items including cooking oil from sunflower.

THERESIA PANGALA says they also manufacture smear oil, mosquito repellents, shoe polish, as well as special oil for treating a variety of skin diseases.

Another member of the organisation, HALIMA NYERESA, says they produce the goods using very simple facilities and, as a result, they are not yet benefitting much – due to poor markets.

She says the vision of their group is to set up a vast factory for massive output of sunflower products like refined cooking oil.

The women say they welcome any possible sponsorship from the private and public sectors to realise their ambitions.

The call for State help by the producers come amid media reports saying the authorities expect cotton production in TANZANIA to grow FOUR times in the 2018 agricultural season./Sabanews/cam

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