Kibaha — CROP cultivation through a system known as 'one district one crop' introduced by Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO), has proved fruitful to Coast Region farmers who have improved their businesses, according to the organisation's Regional Manager, Ms Agnes Yesaya.
Speaking in her office on Tuesday, the Regional Manager said SIDO introduced a farming system with emphasis on cultivation of one kind of crop that grows well in a given area.
She said that the farming system has been divided into two parts-fruit and cassava cultivation, whereby in Mkuranga and Bagamoyo there is pineapple production while mangoes are grown in Rufiji District.
"We have managed to mobilise the farmers through a project known as Muunganiko wa Ujasiriamali Vijijini (MUVI) and with the help of District Councils, we have been able to make them produce better crops than before," she said.
She also added that her office has been working with Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), who have been supplying better seeds to the farmers which has resulted in increase of harvest.
The regional manager also mentioned that the farmers in districts of Mkuranga, Rufiji and Bagamoyo have been introduced to modern farming of cassava in a project which aims at improving Chain Value of root crops.
"Farmers are now producing cassava of high quality compared to the past since they are using improved cassava seeds and are of high quality," she said.
She went on to say that the farmers have managed to build cassava centres which have already been registered in Mkuranga District where there are 11 groups producing cassava flour. Another centre is at Bungu village in Rufiji District. The third one is at Yombo village in Bagamoyo District to be opened soon.
Regarding Kibaha District, she said that there are entrepreneurs who have received training on leather items production which includes shoe making and leather products. Presence of the new factories has encouraged livestock keepers and pastoralists as there is reliable market.
On the other hand, she pointed out that last year between July and December, her office released 129 loans worth 127,150,000/- and loan recovery was very encouraging.
She said that out of 129 loans, 20 were disbursed to Mafia District entrepreneurs. On the other hand she said that entrepreneurial courses were conducted in Mafia District, which included production of various items using coconut shells and others.
However, she mentioned lack of permanent place for processing their products as one big challenge faced by some of these groups that renders their products not be registered by Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS).