Prisons go for high farming tech to maximise output

Tanzania Prisons Service has embarked on using state-of-the-art farming technology to maximize output while cutting costs and cultivation time.

The farming technology based on the Mzuri System is based on the direct drills capable of carrying out multiple operations including seedbed preparation, fertilising, drilling and reconsolidation in a single pass.

The system, according to Mzuri Africa, uses its tractor that is doing multiple operations to cultivate between five and seven acres in one hour if the farm is level.

The Mzuri Africa Managing Director Shaaban Mgonja said here on Monday that for the 200 acres of Prisons Service farm at Wami Kuu the tractor needs a week to complete the cultivation process against the current four weeks.

“On top of that,” Mr Mgonja said, “the system eliminates a number of unnecessary steps, and the same soil-to-seedbed preparation takes only a fraction of the time compared with the conventional establishment.

“The significant reduction in requirement also applies to labour and capital investment.”

He said further the drill only cultivates a narrow strip, leaving the rest of the area intact and allowing nature to do her work.

The Head of Morogoro Prisons, Dr Wilson Rugamba, said on Monday that they have decided to use the technology for maize and sunflower at Wami Kuu Agricultural Prison to maximise output at reasonable costs.

“Normally, we used a conventional tractor that takes time and require huge labour force, but with the new technology we will greatly save time and labour,” said Dr Rugamba when testing the technology.

The Wami Kuu Prisons is using the machine to cultivate its 200-acre field where 100 acres will be cultivated and planted with high-quality maize and another 100 acres with sunflowers.

He said seeds are accurately placed in close contact with the aired, moist, fine crumb structured soil an ideal conditions for quick and easy germination.

Furthermore, the Mzuri system, which is available in 41 countries, promotes the use of previous crop residue which, left on the surface, provides food for the soil’s living ecosystem.

The micro-organisms slowly work the organic matter back into the ground and break it down into humus and instantly available nutrients. The most effective use of straw by far, the presence of surface litter vastly improves soil structure and fertility.

In addition, Mzuri drills are capable of drilling in a choice of narrow or wide row spacing which makes it highly versatile and compatible for work with a broad range of crops.

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