FARMERS have been advised to use the best seeds and modern agriculture technologies to boost food output and surplus for business, which will increase the family income and raise farmers’ living standard.
Modern agricultural farming is the best way to increase food crops production and other for industrial raw materials for industrialization, which will increase employment opportunities.
Sharing his experience in modern agricultural activities, Mr Laurent Lazaro a farmer from Masanze ward in Kilosa district in Morogoro region, said he has benefited enough from practicing modern agriculture from the training he received from Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) at Ilonga Centre.
Mr Lazaro said before the training, he was practicing local farming methods including local seeds which brought him poor harvest; but after adopting new agriculture methods from TARI he now experienced the increase of crop production.
“The modern agriculture methods which consisted of using modern seeds, fertilizers and irrigation systems helped me to increase agricultural products. Before I attended the training, I planted two acres of tomatoes and harvested 50 to 70 grains, when I started using hybrid seed, I planted half an acre and gained 215 seeds per tin harvest,” he said.
The Director of the Ilonga Agricultural Research Centre, Dr Joel Meliyo said the institute has been discovering and encouraging the use of various agriculture technologies to increase productivity, food security and nutrition.
He also said another goal is to have sustainable agriculture and contribute positively to the country’s economic growth in collaboration with national and international agricultural stakeholders.
He said technology acceleration is being done through classroom fields, agricultural trade shows, farmers’ days, stakeholder training tours as well as eight-day exhibitions.
Another farmer from Rudewa ward in Kilosa village, Robert Malyalya said he planted maize in a quarter areas after receiving irrigation technology from Ilonga, gained over eight sacks weighing over 100 kilogrammes.
Another farmer from the Kilamba Kilosa area, Mr Mathew Kabulwa advised farmers to grow sorghum crop, as it is very profitable if cultivated commercially.
He noted that after receiving advice from TARI to grow the crop, he has planned to set up a warehouse that will enable other farmers to stock up on and be easy to deliver to large buyers.
Director General of TARI, Dr Geoffrey Kamilo said through research centres and agriculture trade fairs this year will enable farmers to apply skills through farms and take education to use them for bringing productivity to the country.
He further said if farmers use the best seeds and technologies, the economy will grow individually for the farmer and the nation as a whole.
The Chairman of the TARI Board of Directors, Dr John Budeba has commended the government through the ministry of agriculture to establish the institute of agriculture, in order to find the solutions to the challenges faced by farmers in the country.