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Postcard from Tanzania: The power of pest control

05 March 2013

Postcard from Tanzania: The power of pest control

By Goodness Mrema

White flies, aphids, early blight and mealy bug: pests and diseases are big problems for sesame farmers in Mbugwe. That’s why Tumaini, the Farm Africa crops officer, is training farmers in pest and disease control, and the safe use of pesticides.

On a field trip to our sesame project I visited farmers who have been trained in these better farming practices. They’ve learnt how to identify pests and how to use pesticides properly, all so they can reduce their losses and get a good harvest.

New farming tips

We’ve also trained them in better planting techniques, such as reducing the spacing between plants, which can double production of a field. The prospect of higher yields has motivated many of the farmers to cultivate sesame this season.

Farmer Martin Vincent told me: “Farm Africa has been helping us with training and proper use of improved seeds. I’m happy they are teaching us about pests and disease control, which we didn’t do before.

“I’ve cultivated eight acres of sesame this season with improved seeds, and I expect to get a good harvest because I’ll be able to control pests and diseases with my new technology and knowledge.”

- Goodness is our communications officer in Tanzania

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