Africa-Press – Tanzania. TANZANIA : AGRICULTURE Minister Hussein Bashe has instructed the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) to collaborate with Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI -Naliendele) to improve sesame and pigeon peas seedlings in Mtwara Region.
Minister Bashe said that such initiative is set to usher in transformative changes in the agricultural sector, following directives from President Samia Suluhu, for the revamp of the cashewnut industry in expanding its scope to include sesame and pigeon peas.
He further said the objective is to turn these crops into thriving commercial ventures that contribute significantly to the country’s economy.
“We are set to revise regulations following the directives of President Samia with the aim of expanding the CBT’s responsibilities to include the promotion of sesame and pigeon peas cultivation. The goal is to transform these crops into profitable commercial ventures, contributing significantly to our economic growth,” revealed Minister Bashe.
Mr Bashe revealed this development during the public meeting in Masasi District, Mtwara Region on Sunday as part of the ongoing President Samia’s tour of the southern regions—Mtwara and Lindi.
Emphasising the economic potential of sesame and pigeon peas, Mr Bashe said the government has instructed agricultural cooperative societies to help farmers procure subsidised fertilisers from the Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority (TFRA) for the two crops.
He also called on farmers in the southern zone to embark on cultivation of food crops specifically maize, saying subsided fertiliser is readily available for farmers to enhance their farming produce.
Also, Bashe reiterated President Samia’s plan to construct the cashewnut processing plants and bring to an end exportation of raw cashewnuts come 2026/2027.
In another development, Mr Bashe has encouraged farmers to register and provide their accurate information on the number of cashewnuts trees they own so as to be provided with the right amount of fertiliser (Sulphur).
“We have a problem, where a farmer registers 100 or 200 cashewnut trees and is given only one or two bags of Sulphur, while the actual number of trees is above the reported figure,” he said.
However, Bashe assured the farmers, that he has instructed the CBT to address the problem of inaccuracies in data.
He added that the ministry also plans 11 irrigation schemes in Tandahimba District, Mtwara Region, while citing four of them; Kitehu scheme that covers 189 acres, Lihenje scheme: 211 acres, Ng’apa scheme: 180 acres, and Chiumo: 500 acres whose construction is to take place this year.
“The construction for these four schemes is scheduled for this financial year, and the feasibility studies are ongoing for the remaining seven schemes and its construction will start by 2024/2025,” said Minister Bashe.