The government is set to construct a pyrethrum laboratory in Iringa region with global standard to ensure the crop with recognized quality is cultivated in the country.
The standardization is expected to further add value of the crop, push up prices and production by encouraging more farmers to venture into its farming.
Tanzania Pyrethrum Board’s Crop Controller, Mr Frank Msambilo said the market for the crop is available, but quality still remains their challenge, despite about 2,600tonnes being harvested every year.
“Presence of the laboratory will therefore encourage availability and high quality pyrethrum…t his will enable them to double their incomes,” said Mr Msambilo at the ongoing 44th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF).
The country produces between 2,100 and 2,600 tonnes of pyrethrum annually, but unfortunately export only 900tonnes.
According to the Board, the crop farmers only earn about 2,400/- for a kilogramme because of low quality instead of roughly 7,000/- for the same kilogramme with high quality.
The pyrethrum flower produces numerous products including crude extract, pyrethrum powder and dried marc, whose main buyers are US, China, Thailand, India, Japan and Kenya.
However, according to the Board various measures have been taken to boost pyrethrum production, which include setting up nurseries for high-breed seeds as initiated at the Iringa-based Pyrethrum Company of Tanzania (PCT).
Equally, Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) is carrying-out various researches on the availability of the high-breed seeds countrywide.