CASHEWNUT farmers in Singida Region and its environs may now have a reason to smile following a joint initiative by the National Service (JKT) and Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) of producing locally researched seedlings.
Making the revelation here recently, Head of 834 Dodoma’s Makutupora National Service Camp, Lieutenant Colonel Festo Mbanga said: “farmers, who wish to cultivate cashew nut, may visit the National Service’s greenhouse farm, which has so far produced 3,000 seedlings.”
“Singida Regional Commissioner approached us and requested us to put up the greenhouse to supply seedlings that can help farmers to produce the best cashew nut in the country, and last year we spent about 80m/- for preparation of the project,” he said.
Speaking at Mkiwa village in Manyoni District, Singida Region, where the army has set up the state-ofthe art greenhouse for the crop, Lt Col Mbanga said the decision to put up the facility came after realizing that Singida was among 16 regions, whose land favours the crop growth.
According to him, the project was being undertaken in collaboration with 843 National Service camp in Nachingwea District in Lindi Region, after obtaining the best seedlings believed to produce high yields after a research that was conducted by TARI at its Naliendere Centre.
On his part, Lt Col Magalu Malecela who is the head of the National Service’s Nachingwea Camp said TARI in collaboration with the Cashew nut Board of Tanzania (CBT) made considerable efforts to develop over 50 improved seedling varieties that became possible and would help increase farmers’ yields.
However, he urged farmers to use the improved cashew nut varieties, which are likely to increase their yields and fetch good prices in the international market.
Currently, the seedlings are being sold to farmers in the Central Zone Region at 1,000/-per tree in line with the government’s target of raising at least one million tonnes by 2025.
According to Lt Col Malecela, who also presided over the launch of the sale, the project would help to boost the country’s economy after selling the best cashew nut inside and outside the country.
“In 2016 we started with 100,000 tonnes and the following year the figure rose to 290,000 and in 2018 we produced 200,000 tonnes,’’ he specified, adding that last year, they produced about 300,000 tonnes in collaboration with Makutupora Centre at the Manyoni farm.