CHUNYA District Council in Mbeya Region has begun cashew nut cultivation to raise farmer’s earnings in the wake of falling tobacco prices and increasing environmental damages due to tobacco growing.
In implementing the plan over 100 hectors are expected to be cultivated with cashew nut and 250 farmers are going to benefit from the product in the first phase.
Acting District Agriculture Officer, Mr. Agustino Ndelwa said during a meeting with District Commissioner Ms. Rehema Madusa on measures his office is working to curb the falling of tobacco market which is affecting over 8,000 farmers who depend on tobacco production.
He said already they have introduced cultivation of the cash crop and they have bought 100 kilo grammes of seeds from Mtwara cashew nut board, which are planted in blocks ready for planting in this agricultural season. “We will start with 250 farmers who will cultivate 100 hectors,” he noted.
Mr. Ndelwa said already experts from Naliendele Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) in Mtwara have visited the district and verified that it is suitable for cashew nut production.
Ms Madusa said there is a need of providing education to farmers to reduce production of tobacco and instead they should deal with other agricultural crops which are environmental friendly and have sufficient market value.
If the production of cashew nut succeeds in the district will boost the economy of the farmers and the district, recently in the second phase auction of cashew nut in Lindi, farmers were able to sale 5000 tonnes and one Kilogramme was sold at 3,930/-.