FARMERS have been urged to observe good agriculture practices given by extension officers that will guarantee them increased productivity and high crops yields.
The TARI Makutupora Center, Dr Cornel Massawe said in Dodoma recently that poor crops yields are being linked with the farmers’ failure to follow correct agriculture practices.
“The Centre was used to train supply officers of Dodoma Councils to convey the lessons to the grape farmers on best farming practices,” said Dr Massawe.
The education provided to supply officers includes the selection of the farm, type of soil as well as the best seeds, all of which are fundamental factors for boosting crop yields.
He said some farmers were not practising modern agriculture to get a good harvest for the betterment of their life instead they cultivate subsistence farming. He said the aim of providing coaching to the supply officers is to ensure that all grape growers receive an education so that they can get good harvests.
Apart from education farmers should buy proper agricultural inputs. He urged them to buy agricultural inputs from government-recognized agents so that they can be monitored and farmers can reap the best yields. He said some factors cause farmers to cultivate below standards and also to act contrary to the instructions given by extension officers.
“The farmer sees that keeping the fertilizer at the required rate is a loss to them. Perhaps the agricultural inputs they use are incorrect or have not been approved by experts in their respective crops thus leading to lower yields,” said Dr Massawe.
Dr Massawe said TARI can produce quality seeds but if farmers do not follow the instructions of experts it loses the whole meaning of having quality seeds.
“We must research and educate farmers on how to farm productively. Now is up to the individual farmer or group to see if they want a profit or if they continue with conventional farming. For us TARI it is very difficult to constantly monitor stage by stage,” said Dr Massawe.
In addition, Dr Massawe said TARI through its Makutupora centre has strengthened the research of the crop to get better and more productive seedlings and deliver it to farmers.