Monday, March 12, 2012

Tanzania's farmers urged to increase cassava production via the Tanzania Daily News: The Kagera Regional Commissioner, Mr Fabian Massawe, has advised farmers in the region to increase production of cassava, following a scientific report that the root crop was an answer to African climate change adaptation.

He noted that big farmers from neighbouring Kenya and Uganda could jeopardize the food market that the farmers in the region had enjoyed for many years. "Bear in mind that you are now facing a stiff competition from big farmers in neighbouring Uganda. It is important to improve production and ensure food security and quality," said Mr Massawe.

He noted that it was equally important to ensure the farmers added value to their crops instead of selling them raw as had always been the case. The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (ICTA) recently said the cassava plant could help African farmers cope with climate change. The root crop is already one of the most widely consumed staple foods on the continent.

The report also stresses the need for more research to make cassava more resistant to pests and disease."It's like the Rambo of the food crops," report author Andy Jarvis of the Colombia-based International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. "Whilst other staples can suffer from heat and other problems of climate change, cassava thrives," he said....

Shot of cassava plants by pinay06, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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