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Sisal farmers benefit from new technology

OVER 3000 farmers in Kishapu District Shinyanga region have benefited from sisal value chain by applying simple technology that has increased income as opposed to traditional manual sisal processing.

Speaking to reporters at the ongoing Nanenane exhibitions here on Tuesday, Project Manager from the Relief to Development Society (REDESO) Charles Bulegeya said the technology has greatly improved lives of the villagers.

The introduction of the Raspadora machines for decortication process of sisal can now benefit the farmers big time thanks to the sisal value addition project sponsored by Oxfam Tanzania.

The machines which are manufactured by one local technician in the district have become beneficial to the farmers who have tremendously increased sisal harvests and attaining economic milestones.

“ This technology has enabled one farmer to process up to 400 kg a day while previously with traditional operation one could end up processing 20 kg a day which is a great economic achievement,” said Mr Bulegeya.

So far 50 such machines have been manufactured with each sold at 4.5m/- and each machine has a capacity of employing up to nine people implying 400 people securing employment in all the machines when used in full capacity.

Mr Bulegeya said with Raspadora machines farmers are able to produce up to 600 tonnes of Sisal fibres a year as opposed to the past when they could reach not more than 80 tonnees a year.

A Sisal farmer Tabu Masudi said with a new Sisal farming and decortication processing technology she was now confident of sending her kids to a good school, food security assured for the family and some savings in the Village Cooperative Bank.

“ I can now earn up to 6m/- a year from selling 500 kg to 1tonnee of Sisal fibres and we could earn more if markets were readily accessible at our locality,” she said.

Oxfam Tanzania Campaigns Manager Devotha Mlay said her organisation will extend collaboration with local governments and REDESO as an implementing partner in Kishapu to make sure more farmers are reached and benefited from the Sisal value addition programme.

TANZANIA and Zambia Railway Authority ...

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Author: PIUS RUGONZIBWA in Simiyu

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