Cotton Farmers optimistic to triple cotton production in Shinyanga Region
- 24th July, 2023 11:54
- By SINGIRA
Farmers in Shinyanga Region have been urged to use good agricultural practices especially the new planting spacing of 60cm by 30 cm to boost cotton production. This was expressed in a statement delivered by Honorable Johari Musa Samizi, District Commissioner of Shinyanya District during Farmers Field Day organized in the region under the Cotton Victoria Project.
Addressing before the Guest of Honour, Dr. Paul Saidia who is National Coordinator Cotton Research and Centre Director TARI Ukiriguru, explained the new spacing technique of 60 cm by 30 cm as recommendable for farmers to boost their cotton production. He elaborated that, the spacing regime has proven to provide farmers 22,222 plants per acre with one seed planted per hill, and a total number of 44,444 cotton plants per acre with two seeds per hill. In addition, if a farmer manages to get at least 10 cotton buds per plant a farmer is assured to harvest a least 1400 kilos of cotton per acre. Cotton yield increases as the number of survival buds increases per plant. He further said that, farmers are advised to improve on farm management to ensure cotton plants increases the number of buds to 20 and 30 buds per plant to assure the farmer to increase yield to 2400 to 3000 kilos per acre respectively. The project targets to build capacity of farmers so they can increase production to reach 3000 kilos per acre.
The farmers’ field day was organized to bring together farmers representatives from Shinyanga DC, Kishapu DC and Kahama DC. The farmers had opportunity to share testimonies on the outcomes and challenges they faced in this season. Speaking at the event, a farmer Mr. Pius Mulila testified that, using a spacing of 60 cm by 30 cm received average yield of 1100 kilos per acre. Mr Shimba Syprian was a host farmers at Sayu Village, Shinyanga DC reported that, this season was not a good season, as the cotton crop was hit by drought and got an average of 1900 per acre. The general impression is that, most farmers in Shinyanga, reported an increase of yield with the use of 60 cm by 30 cm spacing.
Cotton Victoria Project, organizes farmers’ field days to get feedback from the farmers and at the same time, help to solve problems faced by the farmers during the season. In the field day, farmers expressed satisfaction and testified that the new spacing regime increased crop yield compared to previously used spacing of 90 cm by 40 cm. However, several challenges not related to the technology was expressed by farmers. They include emergence of diseases, lack of pesticides, and equipment such as knapsack sprayers. Other issues raised during the event include unreliable markets and late payment of the sold cotton has been demotivating to the farmers.
The District Commissioner insisted that, farmers should be adaptive to the introduced technologies which will ensure production increases.
The event culminated with question and answers session where farmers exchanged their experiences and at the same time, researchers, extension officers and government officials had opportunity to provide clarifications on emerging issues with the purpose of improving cotton production and productivity in farmers’ fields.
The Cotton Victoria Project started to be implemented in 2017/18 with the support from the Government of Brazil, through Brazilian Corporation Agency (ABC); Brazilian Cotton Institute (IBA); and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with technical support from the Lavras Federal University. Cotton Victoria Project is implemented in Tanzania, Kenya and Burundi.