TANZANIA Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) has conducted a strategic training to educate farmers in Mlele District, Katavi on the best farming practices in increasing cashew nuts growing and production.
The training organised and conducted by Mtwara’s TARI—Naliendele in collaboration with Cashewnuts Board of Tanzania (CBT) centred on educating cashew nut farmers in Mlele on the best methods in increasing yield of cash crop that leads the sector on foreign exchange earnings.
TARI—Naliendele Researcher,William Mbasa, said farmers faced myriads of challenges on insects, pests and disease control as they lacked education and skills on how best to detect and control them.
"Most farmers lack education on best farming practices to increase crop quality and high yield of cashew nuts,” Mr Mbasa said adding the challenge backpedals efforts to boost cashew nut output.
Mr Mandela Chikawe from CBT told the participants that the government was supporting farmers through teaching them the best agriculture practices in a bid to improve productivity.
“This training will help farmers to focus on the best agriculture practices" he emphasized.
Mlele District Council Agriculture, Irrigation and Cooperative Officer, Like Kifyasi, commended TARI and CBT for hatching the strategic plan to educate farmers on the best practices of improving cashew nuts farming at the district.
"We honestly commend TARI and CBT for timely coming up with the plan to educate cashew nuts farmers as it will help them learn new technologies to promote cashew growing and marketing it in near future" he said.
About 760 farmers in Mlele have planted 36,320 cashew trees on 120 acres so far.
Across section of participants interviewed by ‘Daily News’have commended the government for organising the training saying it was worth it.
"Our plea to TARI- Naliendele is that we [farmers] should be having more training in future to help us adhere to best farming methods.
Training had helped us to seriously concentrate on best agriculture practices" said one of the participants, Leonard Kiyungi
from Kamsisi village.
Similar sentiment was also echoed by several participants who admitted that farming practices are too technical compared to the traditional ones which they used to rely on in the past.
"'Today farmers should have resources, knowledge and skills on how to prepare farms and timely utilisation of inputs in a bid to realize high crop yield" added Vincent Vitus from Inyonga township.
Mlele’s Agriculture Extension Officer at ward level Ms Esabela Paschal said training was very important for providing guidelines on how to prepare farms, plant cashew trees, control insects, pests and diseases.
“If similar trainings are conducted frequently, they will significantly help farmers improve their productivity" she added.