Posted on :Tuesday , 7th November 2017
In the aftermath of decreasing tobacco prices and subsequent increase in environmental damage, the Chunya District Council in Mbeya region has started cultivating cashew nuts to strengthen farmers’ earnings.
To realize the plan, cashew nut is to be grown on over 100 hectares and 250 farmers will profit from the product in the first phase.
Mr. Agustino Ndelwa, Acting District Agriculture Officer while meeting with District Commissioner Ms. Rehema Madusa talked about the initiatives his office is taking to limit the falling of tobacco market which is negatively influencing over 8000 farmers who rely on tobacco production.
He reported that they have already started the cash crop cultivation and have purchased 100 kgs of seeds from Mtwara cashew nut board. The seeds are planted block-wise in time this agricultural season ready for cultivation. He said, “We will start with 250 farmers who will cultivate 100 hectares”.
He also remarked that Naliendele Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) experts have examined the district land and marked it appropriate for cashew nut production.
According to Ms. Madusa, farmers need to be educated with regard to reducing production of tobacco while also safeguarding the environment and gaining adequate market value by dealing with other agricultural crops.
In case the cashew nut production prospers, the economy of the farmers and district will be boosted. One example being during the second phase auction of cashew nuts in Lindi, where farmers were able to sell 5000 tonnes with the rate going at 3,930/- for one kg.