Cassava farmers now want loans from govt

Cassava farmers have urged the government to give them loans for purchasing tractors as a way to improve production and thereby eradicate poverty in rural areas.

This was said in a two-day meeting on Cassava Adding Value for Africa project organised by the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre.

They said cassava farmers in the country were currently using the hand hoe as their main production equipment.

The Chairperson of Cassava Saccos from Mkuranga Anna Mwambuzi said most farmers complained about the old technology and were looking for assistance from the government.

She said previously, cassava farmers were facing market problems, but the government through the TFNC had solved the problem.

``I hope through this strategic meeting all farmers from various areas will raise their concern and at the end of this all will come up with one answer to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from the crop,`` she said.

Speaking at the opening remarks the Managing Director of Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre, Godwin Ndossi, said the project aimed to boost incomes of small-scale farmers by linking them to new markets.

He said the project would complement other cassava initiatives in the country by focusing only on high quality cassava flour, which seemed to be a more tradable commodity.

According to the report by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Processing and Utilization of Cassava Livestock feed in the country, cassava production trends had been increasing by 10,000 hectares every year since 1967 with increased yields of 50, 000 tonnes a year.

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