Govt sets to establish cocoa seedlings’ nurseries in Kyela

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 11:08 AM May 14 2024
Cocoa seedlings.
Photo: File
Cocoa seedlings.

THE government is set to establish nurseries to produce improved cocoa seedlings in Kyela District and distribute them for free to farmers to increase productivity of the crop.

Deputy Minister for Agriculture, David Silinde disclosed this here yesterday when addressing Kyela residents when Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa was on an official visit in the district, which is well-known for growing cocoa in Tanzania.

Silinde said the ministry is looking for an area to establish the nurseries tasking the Kyela council to allocate and prepare the required area.

He said the ministry intends to increase cocoa seedlings production from the current 34,000 distributed by the council to 100,000 seedlings, which he said will help the people to be motivated to engage in the cultivation of the cash crop.

According to him, the government is determined to strengthen the production of the crop due to the agricultural sector being the leading sector for offering employment opportunities with more than 65 percent of the population.

"But we have also directed the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) to conduct research to identify diseases and pests that attack cocoa and how to surpass them by using organic pesticides," said Silinde.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Exaud Kigahe said that the ministry continues to manage the cocoa sales system through the warehouse receipt system to ensure that it addresses challenges farmers incur.

He said that due to the system being used, cocoa selling price has increased from 25,000/- per kilogramme before the system to the current 32,000/- per kilogramme.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa was shocked by the foul play in the competition of cocoa buyers where only two competed through the online platform.

Majaliwa witnessed the foul at the warehouse by the Association of Cocoa Farmers in Ipinda ward and when he questioned why only two buyers competed, he was told that others failed to utilize the online platform

He instructed the managers of the cocoa auction system to ensure that they run it transparently to increase the number of buyers who will compete and get a price that will benefit the farmers.

“Why don't you call the buyers here to compete openly? If the problem is the online platform, why don't you make it clear so that other buyers can take part?" asked Majaliwa

He asked government leaders, cooperatives and citizens to work together to control middlemen who have been destroying the market.

However, he directed the Kyela district officials to ensure that they regularly visit the farmers in their areas with the aim of providing education on the best cultivation of the crop as well as the benefits of selling their produce through the warehouse receipt system.

"But I also direct all AMCOS and the Association of Cocoa Farmers to have classrooms to teach farmers the best production methods of this crop," ordered Majaliwa.