New pea variety ups yield tenfold

Pigeon pea yields in Babati District, Manyara Region have increased tenfold to 1,200 kilogrammes per hectare at present from 120kg in the 1990s, thanks to improved varieties.

“The new variety has proven that it can do well in the country if well managed. The production is close to 1,200 kgs per hectare as opposed to the local variety which produced only between 40 and 120 kgs per hectare in 1997,” said the project manager and principal scientific researcher Stephen Lyimo, at the site last week.

The programme has been implemented since 2000 with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with the African Green Revolution Alliance (Agra) and the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) through its regional office in Nairobi, Kenya.

A research carried out earlier in 1997 indicated that pigeon peas had been ignored despite their high nutrition value and potential for local and export markets.

The chairperson of Gendi Cooperative Society in Babati, Mr Bernard Daata, said the harvest across the region had been boosted by increased yields resulting in high pigeon pea prices and a rise in acreage. 

He further said that farmers in Singe, Managhat, Himit, Bonga and Galapo villages in Babati District, were planting the variety on a large scale.

Another farmer, Rose Fratein Muryang, said women in Manyara Region, especially those in areas that have agricultural potential, needed to overcome challenges by using modern technologies brought by the Foundation and agencies to grow their income and upscale.

“It is no secret that modern farming methods have added yields per acre; efforts were now needed to expose the farmers to new markets and improve their skills to ensure that farmers realise maximum profits from their labour,” she pointed out.

The Gendi Society secretary Mr Abdalah Kwaray, added: “Continuation of the project will improve the household’s economy. With this new development, local farmers are likely to earn more from the crop and boost the local economy.”

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation programme officers Dr Jeff Ehlers and Dr Emanuel Monyo shared with the farmers the challenges facing them.

, which include lack of marketing skills (needed capacity building); lack of capital, needs support to build more storage, process and packaging facilities including branding.
Source: The Citizen, reported from Babati, Arusha, Tanzania
Share on Google Plus

About Abduel Elinaza

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.