By VALENTINE OFORO, DODOMA
CHAMWINO is among the districts within Dodoma region with useful potential for the cultivation of grapes, but unfortunately, for some years now the district has unfortunately turned into a ‘grapes-barren-land’ due to several challenges.
The grim record in the history of grapes cultivation within the ‘famous’ district which harbours the State House saw the 600 –acre grapes block farm, worth at least 3bn/- in Chinangali II area of Chamwino districts left unproductive by its occupant farmers for about four consecutive years.
According to the District’s Agriculture Officer, Geoffrey Mnyamale, during its production heydays, the potential modern farm located alongside Morogoro road, more than 37.3 km from Dodoma city, used to produce up to 637tons of grapes.
But after years of unproductiveness and stagnation, the major farm has once again come into life, thanks to serious impetus by the sixth phase government to revive and promote the cultivation of grapes within the semi-arid region.
As part of the first phase to have the farm bounce back in production, the farmers engaging in the project have reinstated electricity power at the farm, and have so far gone beyond to renovate the major water poll and other vital irrigation facilities, at a cost of 22m/- being in readiness to start cultivating the prestigious in the forthcoming growing season.
To ensure the project fetched intended results, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa during his recent tour of the project directed the ministry of agriculture to inject the farmers with at least 400m/- to support procurement and installation of new dripping systems.
Operating under the Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society (Amcos), dubbed CHABUMA, the farmers are intending to revive their business by starting cultivating at least 295 acres in the first growth phase.
Chairperson of the farm’s farmers, David Mwaka, informed East Africa Herald during an interview at the farm block that they are now working to implement a number of strategies in cooperation with the ministry of agriculture and the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) in order to ensure the area become more productive, ever than ever before.