Stick to rising cassava for good harvests

Tanzanian farmers ought to stick to rising drought resistant crops in the event that they wish to enhance their harvests in view of world climate modifications that always lead to insufficient rainfall.The recommendation was given yesterday by the minister for Agriculture, Food Safety and Cooperatives, Professor Jumanne Maghembe, in Dar es Salaam to mark the Cassava Week.

Officiating on the launch of the exhibition held at Karimjee grounds, the minister mentioned cultivating drought resistant crops, comparable to cassava, would enable Tanzania overcome the perennial meals shortages.

“With the current world weather changes, which extra typically result in inadequate rainfall, cassava stands out as the suitable crop in most parts of the country. Improving production and productivity of the crop will, subsequently, guarantee meals security and earnings to native and international farmers and the nation,” said Prof Maghembe.

He said cassava was a drought resistant root crop, tolerant to low soil fertility and most pests. The crop can be saved underground safely and conveniently compared to other food crops, he said.Further, he went on to say, it allows for extensive flexibility in planting and harvesting time, the outcome being the potential for having a crop all the year round.

Prof Maghembe said if cassava could be grown and stored in good situations a farmer could realise 20 tonnes of cassava or more. He stated the crop contributes significantly to family food security, earnings and employment opportunities for 500 million people around the world.

“Because of being a strategic food safety crop, cassava might be among crops with high productiveness potentials that may considerably contribute to poverty discount within the country and livelihood basically, thus being a key player in fostering rural improvement,” he said.

Giving examples, he mentioned China needs 500,000 tonnes of cassava from Africa annually. Thus he suggested farmers to extend the crop’s production in order to satisfy the world market.Prof Maghembe mentioned despite its significance, production of the crop was still very low in the country, estimated at six tonnes per hectare in opposition to the potential of over 30 tonnes per hectare.

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