TANZANIA – Tanzanian cashew nut farmers have received a crucial piece of advice that could potentially transform their industry – the importance of using the right pesticides.
Dr. Wilson Nene, the Coordinator of Research and Innovation at Naliendele Centre of the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), emphasized the significance of this during the Nanenane International Exhibition held at the John Mwakangale ground in Mbeya Region.
Dr. Nene highlighted that the proper use of pesticides could significantly increase cashew nut production and enable Tanzanian farmers to compete effectively in the global market.
He urged farmers to heed the guidance provided by agricultural experts, as using incorrect pesticides or applying them incorrectly could lead to crop diseases and losses.
“Each pesticide used on cashews is aimed at controlling certain type(s) of pest(s) or certain types of disease(s). The challenge arises when the farmer does not understand where, when, and how to use a pesticide(s) resulting in not killing the insect(s) while diseases continue,” he explained,
Dr. Nene stressed that the choice of pesticide is crucial, as the one used for damping off, for instance, differs from the one used for other specific diseases. Confusing these pesticides can hinder the growth of healthy and productive cashew nut crops.
To effectively apply pesticides, farmers can use sprayers or specialized tanks mounted on tractors or airplanes, ensuring that the treatment achieves its intended purpose.
TARI has been conducting extensive research to optimize cashew cultivation practices, covering various aspects from field preparation to end-users. This research includes guidance on where and how to plant cashews for maximum productivity, soil suitability, and weather conditions.
Dr. Nene also emphasized the importance of value addition in enhancing cashew nut productivity. The goal is to empower farmers to cultivate cashew nuts that meet the high-quality standards demanded by the market.
In June of this year, the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) took steps to support farmers by delivering essential inputs. This included 10,180 tonnes of sulphur powder, 1.3 million litres of liquid pesticides, 5,000 motorized sprayers, and 396 cashew packaging bags to the Mtwara region.
These inputs were distributed to farmers through designated warehouses in Lindi, Mtwara, and the Coast regions. Farmers registered in the Farmers Registration Systems (FRS) received these inputs, with some benefiting from subsidized supplies.
With the government’s proactive procurement of key resources and a focus on improving cultivation practices, Tanzania’s cashew nut industry is poised to thrive, enhancing the livelihoods of its farmers and contributing to the country’s competitiveness in the global market.