New cassava investors  offer hope for farmers

24Sep 2018
The Guardian Reporter
DODOMA
The Guardian
 New cassava investors  offer hope for farmers

A RECENT revelation that some new Indians and Chinese investors are eying to processing cassava starch in Tanzania has triggered big revolution  among farmers of the said tuber in central zone regions.

cassava.

For years, the crop had been poorly grown at household levels in Dodoma and Singida regions as it attracted low market price, locally as well as internationally.

Last week, the Tanzania Chamber for Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) here, in partnership with 'Chama Cha Wajasiliamali Wazalishaji wa Mbegu za Mhogo' (Wa -MBM) had obtained more than 2000 acres of land in Chemba District in readiness to cultivate large cassava plantations.

"The farmers have been awakened by news released during the recently ended China- ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) 2018, that some Chinese traders want to chip in the country and invest in cassava processing factories," TCCIA's regional secretary, Idd Senge, told The Guardian in an interview.

Moreover, he added that, an Indian investor, Ramani Veerappan, was also recently in the country, seeking to open a plant for processing cassava with target to manufacture starch as well as animal feeds in Mkalama District, Singida Region.

"The developments gave market assurance to farmers in the central zone corridor that's why most of them are currently working round the clock to gather chunk land for commercial cultivation of cassava," he explained.

He expressed bright future in cultivation of the crop as well as mushrooming of relevant factories in central zone, saying at least 100 acres of cassava had already been cultivated in Mkalama District, added that, the tuber is on verge to be harvested.

"Currently we are looking for any local or foreign investor who can purchase the crop in tonnes basis," he explained.

In assuring for professional cultivation of the key cash crop, the Tanzania Agricultural and Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI) in Hombolo, Dodoma, have invented four fresh types of high quality cassava seeds.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper, institute's head of root and tuber department, Elizabeth Mpayo revealed the new seeds as Dodoma, Makutupora, Mumba and Hombolo.

"Our target is to ensure for improvement of cassava value-additional chain through biotechnological increase of nutrition contents," she unveiled.

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