Tanzania: Cashew farmers optimistic about modern seed varieties


Some cashew growers in Mlale district, Katavi region, have expressed optimism about modern varieties of produce, saying they have the potential to improve crop productivity.

They said that access to improved seeds has been one of the factors determining agricultural productivity in Tanzania, especially for smallholder farmers.

More than 760 farmers in the region have committed to devote their time to growing cashew trees, their new cash crop. Currently, they have planted 36,320 cashew trees on farmland covering 120 acres.

In the past, farmers in Mlele district relied and put all their weight on tobacco cultivation to provide their only cash crop. But now we have embarked on the cultivation of cashew nuts scientifically called – anardium occidental – a tree is a family of Annacardiaceae.

Originally, the tree is native to northeastern Brazil, but is now widely cultivated in tropical climates for apples and cashews. Recently, the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) – Naliendele organized a strategic training to educate farmers in Mlele district, Katavi region, on best farming practices to increase cashew cultivation and production. .

The training was organized and conducted by TARI — Naliendele based in the southern Mtwara region in collaboration with the Cashew Nuts Board of Tanzania (CBT) to strategically educate cashew producers in Mlele district on the best methods to increase the yield of cashews being the key cash crop.

Cashews are a popular snack, and its rich flavors are often eaten grilled, on their own, lightly salted or sweetened or coated in chocolate.

Cashews, unlike other oily nuts, contain starch at about ten percent of their weight. This makes them more effective than other nuts in water-based thickening dishes such as soup, meat stews, and some Indian milk-based desserts. Many Southeast Asian and South Asian cuisines use cashews for these unusual characteristics rather than other nuts.

The cashew shell is shelled before it is sold to consumers.

Speaking at the TARI training session — Naliendele researcher William Mbasa said farmers face a myriad of challenges related to insects, pests and disease control because they lack education and skills on how to best detect and control them.

“Most farmers lack education on best farming practices to increase crop quality and high yield of cashews.

“There are a number of challenges that plague farmers to improve their productivity, including diseases, pests and insects that devastate high crop yields, says the expert.

CBT’s Mandela Chikawe reminded participants that the government is supporting farmers by providing training on best farming practices to improve productivity.

“This training will help farmers focus on best farming practices,” he says.

Luke Kifyasi, Head of Agriculture, Irrigation and Cooperatives at Mlele District Council, congratulates TARI and CBT for developing the strategic plan to educate farmers on best practices in improved cultivation of walnuts. cashew in the enclosure.

“We commend TARI and CBT for timely developing the Cashew Farmer Education Plan, as it will help them learn new technologies to promote cashew cultivation and marketing in the near future. », He notes.

He further explains that about 760 farmers in Mlele district have planted 36,320 cashew trees on land covering 120 acres. All the participants interviewed by this document congratulated the government for organizing the training, praising the fact that it was worth training.

“Our plea with TARI-Naliendele is that we farmers should have more training in the future to help us adhere to best farming methods.” The training will help us to focus seriously on best farming practices “explains one of the participants, Leonard Kiyungi from Kamsisi village.

A similar sentiment is also shared by several participants who admit that agricultural practices are too technical compared to the traditional practices on which they relied in the past.

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For her part, agricultural extension agent at the district level, Ms. Esabela Paschal explains that such training is very important to provide guidelines to cashew producers on how to prepare farmland, how to plant cashew trees, to control insects, pests and diseases.

“If similar training is often provided, it will greatly help farmers improve their productivity,” she adds.


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