Tanzania’s legumes spread beyond African markets


Tanzanian agricultural experts have recently revealed to the public that exports over a million metric tonnes of beans to ten countries in Africa as well as India, making it the sole producer of the important legume to millions of people on the continent.

This was disclosed during a special agricultural experts meeting aimed at addressing the issue of ‘Unlocking potential of seed companies to reach smallholder farmers with quality seeds for improved bean varieties,’ in Northern Zone of Tanzania.

The Country Coordinator for International Centre for Agriculture (ICA), Mr Jean Claude revealed that about ten African countries and Asia (i.e. India) hugely rely on the Tanzanian.

“Apart from Kenya that imports over 200,000 metric tonnes of beans every year from Tanzania, countries in Central, East and South Africa such as Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), largely consume Tanzanian grown legumes,” said Claude.

In the production analysis presented at the meeting, Kigoma and Kagera regions top the list with each harvesting an average of 90,000 tonnes per season; other regions in the top seven include Tanga (50,000 tonnes), Kilimanjaro (45,000 tonnes), Arusha (35,000 tonnes), Geita (35,000 tonnes), and Njombe (20,000 tonnes).

The reports presented at the meeting also show that eleven other regions produce around 10,000 tonnes of beans each. The latest total figure for annual legumes production figure for entire country was not readily available, but the area currently placed under beans cultivation has reached over 1.3 million hectares and that nearly 1.5 million metric tonnes used to be harvested in the last few years.

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