Tanzania Agriculture Institute Research (TARI) has established that areas surrounding Lakes Tanganyika and Nyasa are suitable for the cultivation of palm oil, cocoa and sugarcane farming that will give farmers the huge potential to boost their earnings.
The new findings of the eight-month research commissioned by TARI-Uyole in Mbeya Region in May last year involving soil testing covered several regions namely Iringa, Morogoro and Rukwa. The TARI-Uyole Centre Director, Dr Tulole Bucheyeki said in an interview recently that the research findings will significantly help farmers to diversify farming activities in the regions through the cultivation of high yields strategic crops.
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“The research finding shows not only the areas potential to produce national strategic crops at higher yields but these regions have a vast uncultivated land as well,” Dr Bucheyeki said.
He said the eight-month research for soil testing came up with better results that could lead to the introduction of new crops to the areas where farmers never thought to cultivate money making crops.
The Director said apart from regions along with Lake Nyasa and Tanganyika potentials, the study also showed that Kilombero valley is suitable for palm three and cocoa cultivation. The research also revealed that in some parts of Iringa, Mbeya, Rukwa and Morogoro soil fertility has depleted from important plants minerals like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and sulphur which are important in boosting crop yields.
“Phosphorus improves fruit and flowers production as well as root growth while nitrogen is good at making the leaves grow and Potassium is great for overall plant health. Lack of nutrients in the soil left the soil to be salty and acidic. Also, other effects of mineral depletion to the soil allow other minerals which are not useful or good for the soil to interfere where it causes crop failure and soil erosion,” said Dr Bucheyeki.
The findings will also enable extension officers to advise correctly farmers on how to treat the soil to increase and improve yield’s output.