A LOCAL company engaged in the sale of insecticides and pesticides, Agripro Tanzania Limited, will spend 400m/- to provide training on better farming methods to farmers in five regions countrywide starting next month.
The company's Marketing Director, Mr Patrick Mwalunenge, told journalists in Dar es Salaam that the training was aimed at increasing yields in coffee, cashew nuts and fruits.
"Diseases and pests affecting crops can reduce yields by over 50 per cent; so it is wise for farmers to be trained on how to tame them.
We will thus educate farmers in Mbeya, Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Ruvuma," Mr Mwalunenge said. He said the company made the same investment during the year 2011/2012 by supporting coffee and cashew nut farmers in Kigoma, Mtwara and Lindi regions.
"After educating the farmers and sold them our products cashew nut production in Mtwara and Lindi increased from between 60,000 and 80,000 tonnes in previous years to over 150,000 tonnes during 2011/2012," he explained.
Adding; "Unlike other companies dealing in farm inputs, we make sure that farmers are educated before they use our products.
We have thus conducted a countrywide study to establish needs of farmers." During that year, he said his company sold a total 316,000 litres of pesticides in Mtwara and Lindi regions. It thus made sales totalling 4bn/- including pesticides and insecticides that were sold to other regions.
He urged financial institutions to extend credit facilities to farmers since agriculture has huge potentials of driving people out of poverty.
"I also call upon the youth to shun running to urban areas and instead engage themselves in modern farming, which can assure them of decent income," the Agripro official advised.
On the other hand, Mr Mwalunenge blamed agriculture boards in the country, saying they were responsible for poor performance of the sector, particularly cash crops.