Institute advises farmers on good agricultural practices

22Oct 2019
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Institute advises farmers on good agricultural practices

CASSAVA famers have been advised to seek advice from experts on how best to grow the crop and protect it from diseases to facilitate bumper harvest.

Director for seed certification at the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI), Dr George Swella said by seeking professional advises from experts, farmers will cultivate the crop using quality seeds hence bumper harvests.

Dr Swella added that once farmers harvest more for food and business their livelihoods will be improved.

He however called upon farmers to see the importance of using quality seeds which have been certified by TOSCI. He said the seeds are currently available at its zonal offices countrywide.

Speaking further on the quality of seeds, Dr Swella explained that farmers who cultivate one acre of the crop using quality certified seeds are likely to get up to 900,000/- after harvest.

Cassava Seed Control Officer at TOSCI, Zera Mwankemwa advised farmers to make sure they use specific seed types depending on the type of soil at their farms.

“Most of the seeds are used depending on the type of soil in the respective area. U sing seeds that does not match the type of soil would result into farmers harvesting less”, she said.

Earlier in 2018, Tanzania signed a partnership agreement with China to commercialize cassava farming and processing, raising hopes to growers who have been grappling with the challenge of accessing reliable markets.

In the pact, China has agreed to buy 2.5 million tonnes of cassava from Tanzania and transport them for further processing as well as use it for manufacturing of various products.

Cassava is one of the major subsistence crops in Tanzania.

Although most of the cassava production in Tanzania is for human consumption, a substantial amount is used for animal feed and alcohol brewing.

Annual production was estimated at 5.4 million tonnes in 2012 when the country was ranked the 12th largest cassava producer in the world and the sixth largest in Africa.