TANZANIA Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) in Naliendele has urged farmers to use improved cashew nut varieties developed by the institute to increase high crop yield in the international market.
The agricultural officer from TARI Naliendele, Mr Bashiru Libuburu, said farmers had all reasons to bank on the improved cashew nut varieties and production technologies developed by the institute to promote cashew nut production in the country.
"Farmers should rely on the use of the only improved cashew nut planting materials developed by TARI Naliendele as they are fit to double their yields as well as improving the quality of nuts," he said.
The officer made the call when teaching farmers best farming practices on improved production technologies developed by the national research institute.
Two-day training conducted by TARI Naliendele in collaboration with the Cashew Nut Board of Tanzania (CBT) brought together participants from Ruangwa, Nachingwea and Liwale Districts in the region.
He said the planting materials obtained on controlled numbers and by order are produced and distributed in TARI Naliendele main station, and others located in Mkumba station in Nachingwea, Mkuranga, Bagamoyo and Chambezi stations in Coast Region, Nanyanga in Tandahimba and Nyangao in Lindi.
He said considerable efforts had been made by TARI Naliendele to develop over 50 improved cashew nut varieties alongside improved production cashew technologies meant to increase cashew nut production in the country.
On the other hand, the institute urged for improved extension services to help build the capacity of cashew nut farmers through better management of improved cashew nut varieties to farmers.
Speaking at the event, farmers asked the research institute to establish cashew nut nurseries at district and ward level to facilitate accessibility of improved planting materials in their respective areas.
The move, according to farmers, will minimise transport costs incurred by farmers in accessing planting materials out of their localities.
Rahisi Maula, a cashew farmer from Nachingwea District, said the establishment of nurseries at district level would also lead to quick adoption of improved cashew nut production technologies by farmers in the region.
"Access to improved cashew nut varieties is a very big limitation to us farmers especially those of us who come from the interior parts of Nachingwea, adopt the improved varieties is another burden to us," he said.
According to Mr Maula, most farmers obtained the planting materials from their own fields and from local governments. "Obtaining them at local level is also a challenge as we face a lot of bureaucracy," he said.
Ruangwa Agricultural Officer Musa Maimula said lack of cashew nut nurseries at farmers' localities caused inadequate and untimely access to improved cashew nut varieties to farmers.