Soybean farmers adopt TARI-Uyole new soil vaccine

By Guardian Correspondent , The Guardian
Published at 08:00 AM May 21 2024
Soya beans
Photo; File
Soya beans

SOYBEAN farmers in the Southern Highlands regions have taken up the use of a biological vaccine for the crop, likely to help increase productivity by at least 30 percent.

Fredrick Mlowe, soil researcher at the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) Uyole centre in Mbeya Region said that the vaccine has been researched collaboratively with Moroccan scientists.

The centre has started to show farmers on the proper use of the vaccine, cutting the use of planting fertiliser in order to increase productivity and reduce production costs. If well used, the vaccine can help improve productivity by 30 to 40 percent, he stated.

“A soybean farmer using a planting fertiliser can harvest 10 to 15 sacks per acre but with application of the vaccine, the yield rises to 20 sacks,” he said, noting that this was the only vaccine enabling farmers to end dependency on fertilisers and thus reducing production costs.

“We have already educated farmers on how to utilise the vaccine," he explained, affirming that this is done through various model farmers trained farmers to spread skills to others in Mbeya, Iringa, Ruvuma, Rukwa, Katavi and Songwe regions, he stated.

Dr Dennis Tippe, the TARI-Uyole director, said that apart from increasing crop productivity, the vaccine also helps to preserve soil health in cutting down industrial fertilisers and chemicals in farms.

Vaccines also help increase productivity during more than one season as the soil remains safe and fertile through the next farming season, he stated, elaborating that if a farmer cultivates soybeans in the first season using the vaccine, he can grow another crop the following season in the same field and get a good harvest from the vaccine residues.

Farmers participating in the training commended the vaccine initiative as it will greatly help farmers improve their wellbeing, with Salanji Mataka, resident in Namtumbo in Ruvuma saying the farmers obtained new skills and aid for farming.

For many years farmers have relied on traditional farming practices which at the end produce poor outcomes, he added.