Tanzania: Tari’s Grape Farming Campaign Pulled Back

TANZANIA Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) campaign to expand grapes farming is being backpedalled by lack of vine processing facilities outside Dodoma.

The institute said the farmers need simple grape processing facilities for crushing and pressing the fruits into watery form for easy handling, instead of transporting them raw.

For instance, farmers from Kibaigwa and Mpwapwa failed to secure bulk buyers due to logistics challenge to transport and maintain the grapes freshness until they reach at the processing facilities in Dodoma.

TARI’s Makutupora Centre Director, Dr Cornel Massawe, said they are facing an uphill task to encourage farmers to cultivate grapes in areas where there are no processing plant.

“The grape processing factories are in Dodoma [city]. We want all Dodoma to grow grapes and then move to another region,” Dr Massawe told ‘Daily News’ on Thursday.

Due to the challenge TARI now concentrates on maximising winegrowing (viticulture) in Dodoma region before venturing out the campaign to other regions that have suitable land for grape farming.

“Once we satisfy ourselves that Dodoma, which is most suitable area in the country (for grapes farming), is fully exploited on winegrowing we will move to another region. “In Dodoma we are also encouraging traders and farmers to invest in small grape processing factories even if they are not for wine making, to prevent grapes from going bad,” said Dr Massawe.

After registering a positive outcome in Dodoma, the director said, they will move to other regions staring with Singida then Tabora.