The southern district of Lindi plans to plant 10 million new cashew trees to increase production of the crop, district authorities here have revealed.
District Commissioner Shaibu Ndemanga said the programme will be achieved through a strategic plan set up to expand cashew plantations by exposing farmers to new and improved agricultural practices and the use of farm inputs.
“We have intensified efforts to revive the cashew farming in our district, ensuring that farmers seriously recapture cashew farming to increase production,” Ndemanga said.
The programme will run for ten years and already 800,000 new cashew trees have been planted in the past two years. Ndemanga said farmers with small plots of land would be more to enable them expand production.
He said the government has provided 32,000 out of 40,000 verified hectares of land to smallholder farmers in a bid to increase cashew nut production as a key cash crop.
“We are giving smallscale farmers more land to expand their plantations and those with old trees that are no longer productive are given new seedlings,” he said.
Ndemanga revealed the district plan towards cashew nut production during the opening of a two-day training session to cashew nut growers.
The training was organised by the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Naliendele, in collaboration with Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) to educate farmers on best practices in increasing production.
He told the participants that the government supports farmers through teaching them best practices to improve production.
“We want to make sure every farmer owns 50 to 60 high-yielding cashew trees,” he said, adding that the district has the potential to increase production based on land availability.
The district has over 300,000 hectares of land but only 3,500 hectares are under cultivation.
The District Commissioner commended TARI Naliendele and CBT for hatching the plan to educate farmers on best practices of improved farming.
“We truly commend TARI and CBT for coming up with the plan to educate farmers. This training has come at the right time when we are struggling to revive cashew nut programme,” he said, adding “the training will help farmer learn new technologies to promote cashew growing and marketing in the years ahead.”
According to Ndemanga, Lindi has recorded a decline in cashew nut in the past years due to various rea