Tanzania: Tari - Lack of Cotton Research Fund Backpedals Growth

THE country's efforts to increase cotton production are backpedalled by lack of research funds.

The availability of research funds plus other resources are among some of the challenges facing the sector growth.

Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) Cotton Researcher, Georgia Buchukuruti, said here at the ongoing Nane Nane fair that challenges facing cotton researches is the availability of resources-one of them being research funds.

Ms Buchukuruti said that the defined and elaborated ways of obtaining research funds are currently in place but are not well implemented by most of the cotton stakeholders.

In turn, she said, affects availability of funds resulting in limited or delayed cotton research outputs.

Nevertheless, she said they are trying to cope with the reality by encouraging farmers to cultivate the culture of visiting Nane Nane Exhibition to increase knowledge and adopt best farming technologies.

The skills obtained from the exhibition enable farmers not only to increase production and productivity but also improve their livelihood.

"We are here to create awareness to farmers, agricultural stakeholders, and other people who are engaging in one way or another in agriculture. "We're training farmers on how to increase production by using improved varieties and other best ways of farming to increase yields and for agribusiness," Ms Buchukuruti said.

However, she said they have noticed in recent days an increased number of farmers who visited cotton demonstration plots.

In order to fasten dissemination process, various methods are employed; one of them is training through demonstrations by use of farmer field schools, informal mass training, radio broadcasting programmes and written materials.

Another challenge is negative interference in the seed production chain.

Production of seeds normally follows multiple stages starting from breeder seed production, pre-basic seed, basic seed, certified 1, certified 2 and so on in order to reach farmers in bulk.

Venance Shiwa, a farmer from Nyakabindi in Simiyu, said that cotton farmers have been faced by many challenges including lack of knowledge of using improved varieties.

"My fellow farmers come up in big numbers at the agricultural exhibition to increase productivity and yield by adopting more technologies," he said.

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