Pyrethrum farmers identified as role models in crop farming

TANZANIA: OVER 50 best pyrethrum farmers in Southern highlands regions have been identified as role models in efforts to boost the production of the crop.

The shortlisted ones proved to have been doing the best in all farming seasons; especially picking/ harvesting the well-matured pyrethrum flowers, as well as embracing proper drying methodologies.

Similarly, the role models were rewarded with, among other prizes, farm inputs, during a recognition event held over the weekend.

Pyrethrum Company of Tanzania (PCT), Field Officer Mr Musa Malubano said the flowers in, hot season, are picked every after nine days while during, cold period, the picking is performed twice a month.

“It is because the maturity goes faster during the hot than cold weather. And, the harvesting takes place within seven to nine months in a season,” Mr Malubano said.

The pyrethrum takes three to four months to mature. The flowers if picked earlier lose quality and weight. PCT has set up at least four demonstration farms in the Southern highlands, for regular ‘how-to-do-it’ training sessions for farmers.

The target is to have 1.3 per cent pure pyrethrum, whose government’s indicative price is 3,200/- per kilogramme, said Mr Malubano.

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“But the company goes beyond, paying 3,500/- per kilogramme. Tanzanian Pyrethrum has a wide market worldwide, mostly in US, Europe and Asia.

Mr Japhet Amon, one of the selected role models, said that the installation of modern pyrethrum drying facilities in the community by PCT and endless modern farming practice education poise to uplift the flowers’ output.

Pyrethrum is a small perennial plant commercially grown for the extraction of natural compounds (pyrethrins) which used to make insecticide.

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