Developing Tanzania’s Forest Resources Sustainably
The Tanzania Tree Seed Agency (TTSA) is helping to ensure the sustainable use of Tanzania’s forestry resources. “Our objective is to enhance both the sustainable supply of forestry products and environmental conservation by producing and marketing high-quality tree seed and other propagating materials,” explains Heriel Msanga, Chief Executive.
Tanzania has a long history of forestry conservation and established an official tree-seed program in 1989.The Tanzania Tree Seed Agency, launched in 2003, grew out of this program and operates within the Ministry of Natural Resources, supplying seeds to Tanzania’s Forestry Service and many other customers within and outside Tanzania.
A big challenge is to balance the needs of the country’s agriculture sector and native wildlife with population growth and forest conservation. Tanzania’s forests are shrinking and firewood and timber have become scarce and expensive. The Tanzania Tree Seed Agency estimates that Tanzania needs to plant at least 440 million tree seedlings per year, or about 40 tons of tree seeds, to keep up with demand.
Seeking an international partner
The Tanzania Tree Seed Agency is currently supplying around 12 million tons of tree seeds per year and is working hard to increase this total.The agency also exports tree seeds to Mozambique, the southern Sudan, Asia, the US, Australia and Europe. Name explains, “We export a lot of African mahogany to Asia, and our teak is ranked the best in the world.”
The Tanzania Tree Seed Agency hopes to become increasingly independent of government funding and to expand its facilities and services, including the amount of seeds it can offer. The agency also aims to boost its exports. To reach these goals, HerielMsanga is looking for an international partner and welcomes contacts from abroad. To potential buyers, he says, “The Tanzania Tree Seed Agency supplies tree seeds of important species like teak, mahogany and others, all of the highest quality.”