The Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) has taken to a special strategy to empower grape farmers in the Dodoma region, relying on the introduction of modern tech.
Director of TARI- Makutupora Centre, Dr Cornel Masawe, made clear that poor adoption of recommended agronomic practices was the major factor impeding the farmers from getting bumper harvest. The Makutupora center has been designated to undertake grape researches as well as assisting the farmers to be aware of and adopt best agronomic practices in cultivating the prestigious economic cash crop.
He added that growing grapes was very sensitive, so farmers are required to acquire enough knowledge and techniques in order to have bumper harvest: "Growing grapes requires systematic and professional treatment throughout all stages till harvesting. At the farm, grapes are required to be planted in special trenches, whereby each hectare comprises 20 trenches, under a special dimension of 2.5 meters from one trench to another.”
Masawe added that the recently established centre for Agricultural Technology Hub (ATH) in Dodoma region was a major boost to grape farmers, saying the hub will play a vital role to impart the growers with better knowledge.
Among the technologies to be disseminated at the equipped hub are improved seed technologies, best agronomic practices, post-harvest management, social economy and farming system as well as integrated pest management.