TARI embarks on soil analysis to enable farmers improve harvests

20Sep 2019
Beatrice Philemon
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
TARI embarks on soil analysis to enable farmers improve harvests

THE Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) in collaboration with a Moroccan based- firm OCP Africa have embarked on soil analysis and testing programme to enable famers use the right type of fertilizers so as to boost key commercial and food crops in the country.

Speaking during the inspection of 12 plots involved in the programme at the Bagamoyo Irigation Development Project in Coast Region on Wednesday, the director of Tanga-based TARI Mlingano centre, Dr Catherine Senkoro said TARI has decided to embark on this programme after discovering that most farmers across the country are not knowledgeable on soil types and what kind of fertilizer is required to add before starting to grow or planting their crops.

“TARI Mlingano in collaboration with OCP Tanzania will continue to conduct soil analysis and testing, including soil research in different areas across the country to help farmers access fertilizer in accordance with their soil type, crop requirement and soil health,” he stated.

To start with, this year TARI-Mlingano in collaboration with OCP Tanzania have distributed four fertilizers that include NPS, NPS Zinck, DAP and UREA from OCP Africa to farmers engaged in paddy production in Bagamoyo district to test it in their farms.

“As TARI-Mlingano we are very glad for the results which we have got from farmers because NPS Zinc and NPS fertilizer has brought positive results for farmers to improve soil fertility, boost paddy production and increase yields than in past years,” she asserted.

“Before we give them those fertilizers, we take soil samples in 12 plots at the Bagamoyo Irrigation Development Project in Coast Region for soil analysis and testing.The main goal was to understand soil problems existing in such areas and what kind of fertilizer is suitable for farmers engaged in paddy production, in accordance with the soil type they have.Under the programme farmers were trained on modern agricultural practice in their farming activities and how to use correct fertilizer in accordance with the soil type.Among other things, the farmers were given 25kg of NPS fertilizer, 25kg of NPS Zinc, UREA 100 kg and SARO 5 rice seeds to plant in their farms.She expressed  gratitude to farmers at the Bagamoyo Irrigation Development Project (BIDP) for allowing them to take soil from their farms for analysis and testing that in turn has helped farmers to obtain fertilizer with high nutrients and more suitable for their paddy production.For his part OCP Tanzania Country Manager Dr. Mshindo Msola said that OCP Tanzania will distribute all fertilizer to farmers in accordance with their soil type and crop requirements in Bagamoyo district and across the country.So far OCP Africa has already brought a total of 10,000 tons of NPS and NPS Zinc fertilizer to help farmers for farming activities.Farmers are keen to use fertilizer from OCP Africa as OCP Africa produces different fertilizers including NSP, NSP Zinc and UREA DAP for farmers engaged in paddy production or other cash crops.The company also produces NPK14:23:14 fertilizer for farmers engaged in cotton production, he added.