Arusha — Agricultural productivity could rise significantly if the farmers stick to use of improved seeds recommended by researchers, according to an expert.
A farm manager for a crop field in Arusha managed by the government-owned Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA), Mr Marco Mwendo, warned farmers against using seeds which have not been authorized.
Making the remarks when speaking during a field visit in Arusha over the weekend, the officer said, bean farmers under a project managed by International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have tremendously benefited through adhering to advice from the agricultural experts.
The bean improvement project is being implemented by CIAT and other institutions notably the Arusha-based Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), in seven districts in the country; Hanang, Arusha, Arumeru, Same, Siha, Hai and Mbulu.
Mr Mwendo was briefing farmers, agricultural researchers, extension staff and other stakeholders, on the benefits of using improved seeds at the seed farm managed by ASA at Ngaramtoni on the outskirts of Arusha.
Besides beans, other crops whose seeds are being propagated in the 576 hectare farm are maize, wheat, pigeon peas and sunflower. Last year, the seeds were grown on a 391 hectare farm.
CIAT country representative Jean-Claude Rubyogo said the programme, now in its third year of implementation and has been financed by the United States Aid agency (USAID)