Momba, Tanzania – The Momba District Council has embarked on an ambitious drive to educate and encourage residents, especially youths, to cultivate sesame (ufuta) and cashew nuts, crops that have shown remarkable success and profitability for the region’s farmers.
During an inspection tour of projects and addressing citizens’ concerns, alongside councilors from the finance, planning, and administration committee, Momba District Council Chairman, Hon. Methew Chikoti, outlined the council’s strategy to boost the local economy through these cash crops.
“We aim to ensure that every household in Momba cultivates at least one acre of sesame or more. For cashew nuts, our goal is for each household to prepare and farm half an acre, enabling our farmers to earn from these crops rather than relying solely on rice and maize,” declared Hon. Methew Chikoti.
In a bold and somewhat controversial move, Hon. Methew Chikoti warned that young people who fail to engage in sesame and cashew farming will face punitive measures by their village governments, including being sentenced to work on farms that are cultivating these crops without pay.
“Our objective is to see everyone farming and earning income to enhance the economic stability of their families and the Momba District Council,” emphasized Hon. Chikoti.
Momba’s Agriculture Officer, Mathew Kyando, announced that each ward involved in growing cashew and sesame would be supported by agricultural experts to provide farmers with professional advice.
Additionally, Kyando revealed that cashew seeds would be distributed free of charge to each farmer for planting on half an acre, equivalent to about 13 cashew trees, along with the necessary pesticides. For sesame cultivators, high-quality seeds will be offered at a subsidized rate.
The initiative reflects the district’s commitment to transitioning from traditional subsistence crops to more lucrative agricultural ventures. With a structured approach and support from experts, Momba District is poised to transform into a significant producer of sesame and cashew nuts, promising a brighter economic future for its residents.
The council’s move is in line with Tanzania’s broader “Kilimo Kwanza” initiative, which seeks to modernize agriculture as a catalyst for the overall economic growth of the nation. As Momba District takes these significant strides, it serves as an inspiration for other regions to diversify and invigorate their agricultural practices.