RESEARCHERS from Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute, Selian centre (TARI-Selian) have conducted a research on maize crop and come up with species that has high protein content suitable in efforts to fight malnutrition in the county.
Assistant National Coordinator of Maize from TARI Selian, Zabron Msengi said that the centre focusing on agricultural research activities aims mostly at providing solutions to challenges facing the community in the agricultural sector.
"We have managed to solve the problem of malnutrition among farmers who grow maize, because we know that maize contains some proteins to help Tanzanians, especially children in the fight against malnutrition," added the Coordinator.
He further said that the centre has researched three varieties of maize species namely Lishe 1, lishe 2 and Lishe K1 after realizing that the crop is a staple food in the country.
According to him, TARI Selian also researched on other varieties of the crop including Vumilia K1, Situka 1 na Situka M, which are resistant to drought and climate change for farmers to grow and expect high yields.
On his part, TARI Selian Director, Dr. Joseph Ndunguru said that maize production in Tanzania has increased from one tonne per hectare to eight tonnes per hectare, because many farmers are now growing advised improved seeds.
"The distribution of the improved seeds (maize) in Kilimanjaro, Manyara and Arusha farmers has increased by 50 per cent.
This is due to awareness and training that was organised by the centre with the aim of increasing income and production amongst the farmers," he said, citing the areas specifically as Singida, Kiteto, Simanjiro and Handeni districts.
Commenting, TARI Director-General, Dr. Geoffrey Kamilo said the institute is also engaged in the distribution of technological findings, generating and promoting application of knowledge in agricultural technologies as catalyst of change in achieving agricultural production.