LEADERS of cooperative unions in Mtwara and Lindi regions have accused the supplier of farm inputs for inadequate and untimely supply of the equipment to the cashew growers in the regions.
Speaking here over the weekend, the leaders said the move is likely to cause a decline in crop yields in the next cashew harvest season.
Mtwara and Lindi regions are leading cashew producing regions in the country.
“This is a foul play by Bajuta Company Limited to us and they must know that it is unhealthy for the crop productions coming next season. The supplier is playing with people’s lives, especially the cashew growers relying solely on cashew farming for their livelihoods,” said the Chairperson of Tandahimba Newala Cooperative Union (TANECU) Karimu Chipola.
The chairperson of Lindi Mwambao Cooperative Union Mr Ismail Nalinga said Bajuta Limited, who is the supplier of the farm resources in Mtwara and Lindi was tasked to supply 12,000 tonnes of pesticides, but he has managed to supply only 2000 tonnes.
“It seems the supplier was not well prepared to supply the inputs to our farmers,” he said and appealed to the suppliers of the inputs to reorganise themselves and ensure the inputs are supplied on time to ensure better production.
However, the Chairperson of Lunali Cooperative Union Audax Mpunga urged the suppliers of the inputs to abide by the agreements entered with the cooperative unions for the betterment of the cashew nuts production in Mtwara and Lindi Regions.
Responding to the complaints, Marketing Officer of Bajuta Limited Ibrahim Fisoo without giving more details, said the company was still in the process of supplying the inputs to the farmers.
“Though we encountered some challenges, we are still stable and supplying the inputs to the farmers,” he said. The Manager of TANECU Mohammed Mwinguka said the cooperative is not satisfied with Bajuta speed in supplying inputs to farmers.
On the other hand, Acting Agriculture Planning Manager with Cashew Nut Board of Tanzania (CBT) said the government should intervene to ensure the pesticides inputs are timely supplied to all cashew producing regions to help farmers increase their crop yields.
Pesticides provide a useful tool to control insects (insecticides), weeds (herbicides), plant diseases (fungicides), as well as other agricultural pests.
Cashew growers in Lindi and Mtwara Regions have been blamed on inadequate and untimely supply of farm inputs including the pesticides saying the move has caused the drop of cashew production from 313,000 in 2017/2018 to 232,000 2019/2020.