FARMERS in Mtwara Region have commended Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) Naliendele for organising strategic cashew nut farming training.
Training is based on educating farmers on the best farming practices to improve cashew nut production.
Speaking during a practical field work at Magereza Cashew Farming Plant at the weekend, the farmers said training was very important for providing guidelines on how to prepare land, plant cashew plants, control insects, pests and diseases.
Mr Mohamed Bakari, a cashew nut farmer from Mtwara Mikindani, said if training was often conducted it would help farmers improve their production.
"I have never had such wonderful and worth training. We really commend the government for organising, but we farmers should be having such training in the future to help us stick to best practices," he said.
Another farmer from Mtwara Naliendele Adam Mathew said training had helped farmers to focus on good agricultural practices.
"Today's agricultural practices are very technical compared to traditional techniques we used to rely on. Nowadays farmers especially cashew nut farmers should have resources, knowledge and skills on how to prepare land and utilise inputs to get high crop yield," he said.
A researcher on plant diseases from TARI Naliendele Dadili Majune said most cashew nut famers lacked education on best farming practices to increase crop quality and yield.
Speaking during practical training, the expert said most smallholder farmers faced challenges on insect, pest and disease control as they lacked education on how to detect and control them.
"There are a number of challenges facing farmers in improving productivity and among them are diseases, pests and insects that devastate good yields and the quality of cashew nuts," he said, noting that the pests and insects destroyed cashew crops by 50 per cent as disease destroyed 70 to 100 per cent of production.
He said training would help farmers learn and start farming basing on best practices using new technology for detecting a variety of pests and diseases that destroyed cashew crops.
Mr Majune said training would help farmers rely on correct agricultural practices to improve cashew nut production from the current 300,000 tonnes to one million tonnes per year.
Training is set to be conducted in all regions involved in cashew nut growing and will be organised by TARI Naliendele in collaboration with the Cashew Nut Board of Tanzania (CBT).