By VALENTINE OFORO, DODOMA

GRAPE cultivation in Dodoma region is inching towards impressive momentum following readiness by the CRDB Plc to roll out a total of 719m/- loan support to revive the country’s major Chinangali II vineyard in Chamwino District.

The tall amount will cover the costs of uprooting old plants and replanting new seedlings at the extent of 295 hectares, as well as the establishment of a modern bulk wine processing factory.

In a further successive development, the government is also finalizing the process to dish out at least 474m/- to support the installation of an irrigation dripping system at the farm.

Giving an exclusive interview to The East Africa Herald, David Mwaka, the chairperson of the vineyard’s farmers who cultivate under the Chabuma’s Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society (Amcos) said installation of the drippers was expected to commence earlier next week.

“The government, through the parent ministry has already contracted a reputable and experienced contractor to install the drippers more professional, “he unveiled.

And he added, if all goes well they’re expecting to use the services of the National Irrigation Commission in the whole exercise to re-digging fresh terraces in readiness to plant the new seedlings.

“We’re also planning to contact with the national ranching cooperation (Narco) over the possibility to collect enough fertilizer,” he added.

He said the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI), apart from assisting them to produce a total of 600,000 seedlings, it also help them to ensure revival of the farms is done professionally and in accord to recommended agronomic practices.

“We’re also appreciating good support from the Chamwino district authority especially by providing us with at least six professional extension officers who are currently working with us on daily basis,” he informed.

Mwaka said they were expecting to start planting the new seedlings in February next year, targeting to produce between 2 and 2.5 tons per hectare.

Under the tutelage of experts from TARI, he said they have well prepared to start cultivating more agronomical in order to produce grapefruits with required sugar contents for brewing best wine varieties.

“Basically, we’re sincerely appreciating a close time-heart support and cooperation that we have been receiving from prime minister Kassim Majaliwa as well as deputy minister for agriculture, Hussein Bashe,” Mwaka appreciated.

The 600 –acre grapes block farm, worth at least 3bn/- in Chinangali II area of Chamwino districts was left unproductive by its occupant farmers for about four consecutive years.

According to the Chamwino 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 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 with capacity to restore a total of 21 million litres.

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