Tanzania: New Cassava Varieties Attract More Farmers.


Following the mobilization of farmers through farming training on a firm field grown with eight improved cassava varieties at Kiwalala Ward of Mtama District, farmers in the Lindi region plan to embark on cassava farming businesses to generate more profit.

At the training, the farmers studied the quality characteristics of the improved cassava varieties that have been developed by the Tanzania Agricultural Research Insitute (TARI) Naliendele Centre. 

“Based on what I have learned on this firm field training, I have decided to embark on cassava farming businesses as from the next farming season”, Bendita Mkanga said, a farmer at Mtama District. The farmer further said the improved cassava varieties grown at the field were of high quality than the old local variety widely used in the area.

“We have seen that the improved cassava varieties mature quickly, they yield more and they are not easily attacked by diseases”, she said. Mkanga and the rest of the farmers in the area have been growing cassava without profit due to inadequate use of farm technologies and best farming techniques.

Sinde Kirumbe a farmer at Kiwalala Ward in Mtama said “Most of us farmers used old local varieties that are of low quality and easily attacked by pests and diseases”. Through the farming training, the farmers were encouraged to use the improved cassava planting materials, using good agricultural practices to increase production.

However, the farmers asked TARI Naliendele to provide them with planting materials and conduct more training on modern farming technologies to help them improve production. “We sincerely call on the agriculture researchers to provide us with quick accessibility and availability of improved planting materials for not to be able to improve production”, Bakari Namkunda, a farmer in Mtama beckoned.

Mr. Festo Masisila, Agriculture Researcher with TARI Naliendele said the improved planting materials can be obtained from TARI Naliendele and other centers country-wide. asides from the institute centers, he said the seed could be obtained from certified and approved seed producers in Southern Zone.

Mr. Masisila said the TARI Naliendele has developed over eight improved cassava varieties suitable for cassava farming in the Southern Zone area, which includes Ruvuma, Lindi, and Mtwara. He mentioned some of the improved cassava varieties such as TARICASS1, TARICASS 2, Kiroba, and Chereko.

The farmers were urged to use the improved varieties in order to increase production as the improved cassava varieties yield an average of 10% compared to the old local varieties. 

Meanwhile, the National Cassava Development Strategy (NCDS) 2020-2030 calls for the facilitation of improved technologies to boost cassava production and increase production from 8.3 million tonnes per hectare to 24 million tonnes by 2030.

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