Announcing the plans at TARI-Kibaha yesterday, TARI director general Dr. Geoffrey Mkamilo said that the institute plans to establish sugarcane development centres in all potential sugarcane growing regions and districts so that farmers and other stakeholders can access technologies, innovations and good agricultural practices related to sugar cane crop within their vicinity.
“From the statistics we have currently, the real demand of sugar in the country is 650,000 metric tonnes, but basically what we produce in is only 300,000 metric tonnes which is almost half way. So there is this gap that we have to ensure we contribute to bridge it and we can do so through taking the latest technologies, innovations and good agricultural practices close to the farmers so that they can use them and enhance sugarcane production and productivity in this country,” he said.
Dr. Mkamilo has directed TARI-Kibaha that from now, the researchers have to put in place an inventory of all technologies available at Kibaha and identify the inventory of technologies including improved seeds. It must also establish a system where the farmers will be able to access such technologies compared to the current situation.
“In other crops like cashews we have established cashew development centres where the farmers are able to access technologies related to cashews closer to them. I want also sugarcane farmers to access technologies within their localities without waiting much time and money by traveling long distances in search for new technologies,” he stressed.
Citing an example he said, the sugarcane development centres can be established around Kagera sugar, Mtibwa Sugar factory, Kilombero and so on where the farmers are looking for such important technologies to boost sugar production in this country.
“Our President John Magufuli actually had emphasised strategic crops like sugarcane. We have to put all our efforts to reduce this gap. And this is really industrialisation strategy in this country to ensure that we are self sufficient of sugar and other crops as well,”.
For her part, TARI Kibaha manager Hildelitha Msita explained that TARI-Kibaha had already technologies, innovations, and good agricultural practices available and suitable for the farmers and other stakeholders.
So far the centre had seven good improved varieties for sugarcane and there are other six which are going to be released from next month. Read More...https://epaper.ippmedia.com