CASHEWNUT farmers in Singida Region and the neighbouring regions may have a reason to smile following an ongoing project to produce modern cashew nut seedlings, thanks to an initiative by the National Service (JKT) in collaboration with the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI).
Equally, farmers who wish to have cashew nut farms may visit the National Service’s greenhouse farm which has so far produced 3,000 seedlings, according to Head of 834KJ Makutupora National Service Camp, Lt- Col Festo Mbanga.
“We were approached by the Singida Regional Commissioner who requested that we set up a greenhouse for supplying seedlings that can help farmers produce the best cashew nut in the country, whereas last year we spent about 80m/- for project preparations,’’ he said.
Speaking at Mkiwa Village in Manyoni District, Singida Region, where the army had set up a modern greenhouse for cashew nuts, Lt-Col Mbanga said the decision to set up the facility in the region came after realising that Singida was among other 16 regions whose land was suitable for production of cashew nuts.
According to him, the project is implemented in collaboration with 843KJ National Service in Nachingwea District in Lindi Region after obtaining the best seedlings believed to produce the best cashew seedlings after research conducted by TARI at its Naliendele Centre.
According to Lt-Col Magalu Malecela, who is Head of 843KJ National Service Nachingwea Camp in 2016 TARI in collaboration with the Cashew Nut Board of Tanzania (CBT) made considerable efforts to develop over 50 improved cashew nut varieties alongside improved production cashew technologies meant to increase the production of cashews in the country.
Lt-Col Malecela urged farmers to use improved cashew nut varieties developed by the institute to increase crop yield.
Production of the seedlings, currently being sold to farmers in the Central Zone region at 1,000/- per variety is in line with the government’s targets to attain at least one million tonnes by 2025.
According to Lt-Col Malecela, who was speaking during the launch of sales of the seedlings to farmers yesterday, the new project will help boost the country’s economy by selling the best cashew nuts inside and outside the country.
“In 2016 we started with 100,000 tonnes and in 2017 the number of tonnes of cashew nuts increased to 290,000, while in 2018 we produced 200,000 tonnes,’’ he said adding that in 2020, about 300,000 tonnes were produced in collaboration with Makutupora Centre on Manyoni Farm.
One of the farmers, Mr Maulid Selemani, who owns several hectares visited Manyoni Centre to buy about 200 varieties of seedlings, saying before he had a challenge in getting them, but he could now visit the centre and access the seedlings easily.