The Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute Mikocheni centre has embarked on a campaign to revamp coconut production in the coastal regions of Tanga, Lindi, Mtwara and Coastal. This follows declined production and productivity of the crop in recent years caused by aging of the old coconut trees coupled with increasing diseases such as coconut lethal yellowing. All these factors have caused some farmers to abandon farming of the crop with others opting to grow other productive crops.
It is well known that coconut is an important crop that supports the livelihoods of the majority of the Coastal people, contributing to daily diet particularly edible oil, industrial materials and environmental sustainability. In Dar es Salaam and other urban areas for example, coconut employs hundreds of petty traders who sell juice from young nuts.
The TARI Mikocheni centre is now distributing improved seedlings known as East Africa's Tall (EAT), the variety that is high yielding, adapted to moderate drought and tolerant to pests and diseases.