THE Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) has embarked on training grapes farmers to process and add value to the crop to fetch more earnings.
TARI Makutupora Center Director, Dr Cornel Massawe told Daily News in an interview that during harvests most manufacturers have sufficient raw materials thus do not buy grapes from farmers.
Therefore, the training was important as farmers’ process grapes to add value and sell at the best and most profitable prices.
“We are training them to reduce losses. When farmers harvest the factory owners do not buy grapes from the farmers because they have their vineyards so they have harvested enough to satisfy their industries,” said Dr Massawe.
He said after seeing farmers incur losses for lack of a grape market and many being spoiled, TARI decided to come up with a training initiative that has motivated most farmers.
He said farmers who have undergone the training have benefited from the training and motivated them and some to even increasing the size of the farm.
However, Dr Massawe said apart from seed research, they also provide training on better and more productive farming.
“At TARI Makutupora we provide training for seedlings from field preparation, the type of seeds that grow in the area, care, harvesting to consumers,” he said.
Dr Massawe said most farmers have been encouraged to cultivate the crop after Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa visited TARI where he saw seed nurseries and assured the availability of markets.
“After the Prime Minister’s visit to TARI the farmers were excited about the opportunity and now the seedlings we have prepared for planting next November season is not enough,” said Dr Massawe.
Grapes are a strategic crop that has been given priority by the government. It is for that, that TARI has focused on providing education in the crop to achieve the government’s goals