ippmedia.com, 14 January 2021 | Source
Agriculture minister Prof Adolf Mkenda made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon at the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) Mikocheni centre in Dar es Salaam, saying the decision has been made to conserve genetic resources of the country and local seed varieties.
This implies that the drought-tolerant GMO maize trial that has been ongoing at the Makutupora Research Centre in Dodoma and another for cassava at TARI Mikocheni halt operations forthwith. The maize project sought to tackle periodic infestation of fall armyworm while the cassava trial was meant to end diseases such as the brown streak virus.
The minister raised concerns over the negative impact of GMO on farmers, saying that if the nation lets free entrance of foreign seeds, “there will be seed market dominance by a few agricultural companies with local farmers forced to buy from them every year hence creating seed dependence.”
He therefore directed that from today all imported seeds must undergo effective screening at molecular biology laboratory at TARI-Mikocheni, a lab that is mandated to carry out tests before such seeds enter the market, as it has a molecular biology lab, a diseases diagnostic lab and a tissue culture lab.