Tanzania: Vegetable Research to Boost Farmers' Earnings

THE Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute Tengeru centre has said research in vegetables, fruits, flowers, medicinal plants and spices is important because they are major source of income for most households.

The Manager of TARI Tengeru in Arusha Region, Dr Stephen Kuoko said here that most exported vegetables like onions and tomatoes contributed in the growth of national income.

According to Dr Kuoko, TARI Tengeru Center is focused on implementing the industrialisation agenda by facilitating the research of the various productive vegetables as they are an important commodity used by every Tanzanian. He said the crops are important as every Tanzanian use also for food.

"In Tanzania we grow many types of vegetables. We have two main groups here at our centre including local vegetables including mlenda, spinach, amaranth, among others.

He added, the second group is foreign vegetables including cabbage, peppers, onions and tomatoes. Both categories have been very important for vegetables and as food.

Also in vegetables there are various vitamins A, C, D and E in different levels as well as minerals including iron, zinc and others.

In economic benefits, the Manager said, vegetables is important for trade as it provides employment to many people including women, young people and people of all ages engaging in agriculture, business or increasing the value of vegetables.

Dr Kuoko said the government has provided support on the research of improved varieties as currently the center has 21 varieties of tomatoes, 10 varieties of peppers, one eggplant and five watermelons as new varieties of seeds which researched in order to be distributed to farmers.

The center also focuses on providing training to farmers on best modern farming practices as well as providing various seminars on how to produce vegetables as an entrepreneurship.

For his part, the National Vegetable Research Coordinator, Alice Kavishe said they have done research on both local and foreign vegetables.

"Another type of local vegetable we have developed is humanoid as well as pumpkin greens," Kavishe said, adding that the improved varieties of tomatoes at the centre have the ability to stay 14 days without deterioration.

TARI Director General, Dr Geofrey Mkamilo said Tengeru Center is dealing with research of all vegetables, spices and fruits in the value chain.

He said towards the medium income economy by 2025, Tanzania should use various technologies that provide positive responses to solve the challenges that exist in society.

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