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TARI, CIAT introduce proper crop drying equipment

TANZANIA Agriculture Research Institute, Uyole Centre (TARI Uyole) has introduced proper crop drying equipment to rural communities aimed at increasing productivity and market attraction.

The Centre Director of TARI Uyole in Mbeya Region, Dr Tulole Bucheyeki said here that proper crop drying reduces and minimizes aflatoxin contamination caused by aflatoxins Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus that reduces food quality, lowers food safety and market attributes.

He made the remarks when handing over Solar Bubble Driers to two farmers groups namely Upendo Senjele AMCOs from Mbozi District and Zinduka of Mshewe village who were provided with the drying equipment in Mbeya and Songwe regions recently.

There is evidence that storage moisture has effects on the physical, chemical, nutritional and market properties of crops.

It can have effects on food taste, texture, colour and food processing characteristics and qualities “Each crop has specific moisture at physiological maturity and storage moisture content, thus proper references, equipment and experience are highly needed during harvesting and threshing,” Dr Bucheyeki emphasized.

According to the Centre Director, the equipment is one of the paramount factors for raising farmer’s income, achievements of proper moisture content, reducing crop damage and loss due to storage pests and diseases.

He explained that the equipment has been supplied in collaboration with farmers, TARI and CIAT), Bioversity International/ CIAT Alliance.

“This installed drying equipment can be used in maize, beans, soybeans and other crops with magnifying effects on productivity and income generation,” Dr Bucheyeki added.

He further advised farmers to follow proper handling, operation and management to observe durability and increased efficiency and achieve the desired outcomes of saving many communities in the Region.

The Coordinator of Administration and Operations Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Mr Lazaro Tango said, the drying equipment known as `Solar Bubble Drier` has the potential of drying more than eight crops such as beans, rice, maize, soybeans, chickpeas, pigeon peas, green grams, sorghum, vegetables, fruits, coffee and others.

On the other hand, Ms Sylivia Kalemera the Monitoring and Evaluation or Geographic Information System (GIS) Bioversity International/ CIAT Alliance Analyst narrated the importance of proper and fast crop drying reduces drudgery works especially to women and youths who are frequently involved in this work.

At the event, Mr Daudi Bukuku the Chairman of Upendo Senjele AMCOs thanked the Government of Tanzania, TARI and CIAT for the Solar Bubble Drier (SBD) introduction to rural villages which will be used by many farmers to improve crops quality to attract national and international markets.

On the other hand, Ms Witness Sikayanga, the Chairperson of the Zinduka women group highlighted that technologies that save time like Solar Bubble Driers are vital and compatible with rural livelihood as they increase crops productivity.

When talking to the event, the Chairman of Upendo Senjele AMCOs Mr Daudi Bukuku said `the time to practice reliable crops business is now because we can dry properly our beans and maize to realize more incentive and high income to farmers`.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of Zinduka Women Group in Mshewe village, Mbeya Region Ms Witness Sikayanga said that the availability of crop drier in the village will enable farmers to increase crop production, motivation, morale, and sustainable agricultural farming.

Speaking at the event, TARI Uyole Plant Breeder and Innovator, Dr Mary Ndimbo, said that the introduced technology will assist in searching for market favorable traits to be induced in beans.

The technology could also be used as a vital tool for fighting aflatoxin in crops to have clean and safe products.

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