New cassava variety provides new business opportunity
Moita Mwidadi (left) talks to FRI staff Vijay Cuddeford, managing editor, and Tereval Nasary, project officer.
Moita Mwidadi is a cassava farmer from Vunde Manyinyi village, in Tanga District in western Tanzania. He belongs to Jitegemee group, which was formed for the propagation of cassava cuttings. He is 49 years old with two wives and seven children.
Moita had been growing local varieties of cassava, which had low yield and hence low profit. Through radio programs, he learned that he was getting little yield and poor prices because of the local varieties he was growing. Moita was convinced to stop growing the locally-available varieties and switch to the improved variety, Kiroba, which had a higher yield and higher market demand.
It was very challenging to stop cultivating our local varieties and switch to new variety which we do not know its performance,” said Moita.
He joined Jitegemee group for Kiroba production, each member of the group using the seed on their individual farms and selling cuttings to others.
Moita is now well equipped with knowledge on how to make cuttings selection and how to store them. This season he has planted one acre of cassava and he expects the yield to increase because he followed the recommended advice shared on Mwambao FM radio.
With our cassava cuttings propagation farm, we expect to earn some money, which will help us in the processing and transportation of cassava to the market,” said Moita.
Moita is planning to use the money from his one acre of cassava for constructing a good house for his family, paying school fees and will use the remaining amount for farm preparation for next farming season.
Radio programs have really transformed me. With this good performance in my farm, I will expand land for cassava and have more production,” concluded Moita.
The cassava project is underway in Tanzania and Uganda in partnership with Catholic Relief Services. Cassava is a great staple crop, as it grows well despite dry periods. Learn more.
I am a farmer in West Africa and am interested in this new variety of Cassava. How do I get the seeds
Hi Abdul, thank you for your message. Where are you located? Perhaps we have a broadcasting partner near you that can help.