Tanzania: Adopt Measures to Increase Cotton Production, RC Orders

MWANZA Regional Commissioner Robert Gabriel has instructed District Executive Directors (DEDs) and District Commissioners (DCs) in the region to adopt measures that would see cultivation of cotton in large scale from the village, ward to district level in their areas of work.

The RC made the remarks yesterday during the launch of a campaign aimed at improving the cotton cultivation in the area.

Explaining, Mr Gabriel said the regional authorities should be ready to collaborate with other stakeholders in the exercise to raise livelihood of the residents and as well increase revenue collections.

"All cotton growing councils and districts in the region are required to use 10 per cent of their revenue collected from selling the crop to facilitate its cultivation in new areas," pointed out the RC.

Equally, he urged council directors to make sure Extension Officers from the Ward to the village have demonstration farms and trainings that would help farmers to improve in their activities.

The RC said in the 2016/17 season the region harvested 11,531 tonnes of cotton, in 2017/18 a total of 17,376 tonnes and 2018/19 they harvested 33,010 tonnes which earned farmers 39bn/-.

"In the 2019/20 season, agriculture went through a period of climate change dictations which caused the crop production to drop by 8,039 tonnes," Mr Gabriel said.

In his analysis, he noted that Mwanza region has the potential to produce more cotton if a lot of focus would be put on modern agricultural methods.

Mwanza Region Cotton Inspector from the Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) Mr Renatus Luneja said cotton growers have for a long time produced an average of 300 kilogram per hectare, which he attributed to poor farming methods.

"The ongoing cotton campaigns are part of efforts to make the country reach 1million tonnes target by 2025 . The Cotton board is committed to ensuring that cotton seeds are available," Luneja said.

He added that in order to reach that target the cotton growing regions like Simiyu region is required to cultivate 500,000 tonnes, saying: "Mwanza needs to cultivate 70,000 tonnes, Kwimba 30,000 tonnes, Magu 20,000 tonnes, and Sengerema as well as Misungwi contributing 10,000 tonness each. Mark you; the growing season will begin on 15th November this year."

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