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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Tanzanian wildlife authorities seize over 60
bicycles used by poachers in game reserve   

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), a state wildlife management and conservation body, said on Thursday it has seized more than 60 bicycles that were used by poachers inside the Selous Game Reserve.

Augustino Ngimilanga, TAWA’s North-West Zonal Chief, said the authority has also seized 100 metal snares used by poachers to catch wild animals in the game reserve.

Ngimilanga said the bicycles and the snares were seized in a special operation and routine patrols carried out by TAWA game rangers inside the 50,000-square kilometer reserve, home to elephants and other wild animals.

“We have stepped up efforts of patrolling the area and in the recent past we also deployed patrol boats in the Rufiji River crossing in the Selous Game Reserve for efficiency,” he said.

Ngimilanga added that poaching, logging and illegal fishing were the common crimes committed inside the Selous Game Reserve, one of the largest faunal reserves of the world, located in the south of Tanzania.

He said poachers inside the Selous were now using long plastic trumpets, commonly referred to as Vuvuzelas and torches to confuse and ultimately kill wild animals inside the reserve.

“They’ve designed a new method of killing our animals but we will continue hunting the criminals down,” he said.

Ngimilanga said TAWA will continue engaging local and foreign investors in the area in a bid to stamp out poaching.

Benson Kibonde, an official with Mkwawa Hunting Safaris, underscored the importance of protecting and conserving the Selous Game Reserve due to its diverse range of species and for being a catchment area for Kilombero and Rufiji Rivers.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Tanzania  government will soon start producing seeds locally

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania said on Thursday it will soon start producing seeds locally in a bid to stop turning the east African country into a dumpsite of foreign seeds.

Charles Tizeba, the Minister for Agriculture, said the government has started encouraging Tanzanian investors to start producing the seeds locally.

“Those responsible for the importation will be given a certain time extension...after that they’ll have to start producing the seeds themselves,” said Tizeba at the inauguration of the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) Board of Directors in Arusha region.

The minister said Tanzania has vast and fertile land, adding that it made no sense importing the seeds.

“This has to come to a stop as we have enough land, water and favorable climate which can all facilitate seed production in the country,” said Tizeba.

He wondered why most of the private seed companies continued importing the seeds for more than 15 years.

However, TOSCI Director General Patrick Ngwediagi, said between 60 and 75 per cent of the imported seeds had conformed to international standards.

He said the country’s seeds annual demand was 120, 000 tons while supply stood at 60,000 tons per year.

Susan Nchimbi-Msolla, TOSCI Board of Directors Chairperson, said the Seed Certification Institute had between March and December last year issued 1,120 importation and distribution permits to research institutions and seed companies in the country.

She added the institution will continue conducting crackdowns on distributors of fake seeds in the market.

“This will include deploying seed inspectors across the region and country wide in its efforts to address the proliferation of fake seeds in the market,” she said.

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