Tanzania: Right Fertilizers to Use Training Looms

AGRICULTURAL researchers are planning to train the Extension Officers at the grassroots in regions with high acidity soils on types of fertilizers to use in farms.

That was after the realization that farmers in such regions have been realizing low yields due to poor knowledge on the types of fertilizers required in such areas.

According to a special countrywide soil research conducted by the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), 10 regions have high acidity soils registered as at least 21.4 percent.

The regions include Mbeya, Songwe, Kigoma, Mtwara, Geita, Kagera, Tabora, Katavi, Mtwara and Lindi.

According to the National Coordinator for Soil Research at the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Dr Sibaway Mwanga the regions in question use of fertilizers must go in accord with recommended agricultural lime applications.

"The survey established that in the regions, farmers are failing to get high yields, because they lack knowledge on the application of needed fertilizers. For instances, most of them are ending up harvesting seven sacks of maize per hectare instead of 30," he pointed out.

Dr Mwanga noted that farmers within the regions have often been using UREA and DAP types of fertilizers, which are unfriendly to the acidic soils.

"The proper fertilizer that suits in such areas with high acid concentration is CAN and this must also be applied with agricultural lime. "The institute has a series of strategies aimed at educating farmers countrywide on what type of fertilizer to use and also tell them the soil type," he added.

Elaborating, he said Tanga, Dar es Salaam, Coastal, Songea, Ruvuma, Singida, Shinyanga, Manyara and Rukwa regions have soil acidity rate 46.2 percent.

"In these regions there's no need for the application of agricultural lime when putting fertilizers, but farmers must use non acidifying fertilizers like CAN," he further directed.

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