Cashew seedlings distributed to farmers

RUKWA: ABOUT 2,977 cashew nut seedlings have been distributed to farmers in Kalambo District, Rukwa region which is the newly introduced cash crop.

The cashew nut seedlings which are distributed to farmers free of charge are planted in seven wards of Mpimbwe, Kasanga, Kisumba, Mambwe Nkoswe Milanzi and Matai. Kalambo District Council Agriculture Officer Mr Nicholaus Mligo told ‘Daily News’ at Matai that the seven wards will serve as demonstration farms.

The Kalambo farmers initially relied on maize production and threw their weight on the crop, serving as their food and cash crop.

One of the farmers, John Sikulumbwe said they faced myriads of challenges with insects, pests and disease control as they lacked education and skills on how best to detect and control them.

“Most farmers lack education on best farming practices to increase crop quality and high yield of cashew nuts,” he noted.

A cross section of cashew nut farmers interviewed by this paper separately commended the government for introducing the new cash crop.

“Currently, farmers should have resources, knowledge, and skills on how to prepare farmlands and timely utilise agricultural inputs to realise high crop yield,” said John Sinyangwe.

Similar sentiments were also echoed by a cross section of farmers who admitted that farming practices were too technical compared to the traditional practices they used to rely on in the past.

On his part council agricultural officer Mr Mlingo explained that it is very important for farmers to be provided with guidelines on how to prepare farmland, plant cashew trees, control insects, pests and diseases.

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