Thursday, 14 August 2008

Southern regions barred from growing cotton

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By Daily News Reporter

The government will not lift the 47-year-old quarantine imposed on the southern regions from growing cotton, unless it was satisfied that the cotton-devouring red worms (Diparopsic castanae) are eliminated.

The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Dr David Mathayo David, said the government stopped cotton growing in the regions in1946 after the highly destructive red worms were seen in pilot farming projects.

“A research made in 2004/05 confirmed the existence of the worms in various southern regions including Rukwa and Mbeya,” he said when answering a question from Mr Mtutura Abdallah Mtutura (Tunduru—CCM). The legislator had sought to know why the government was not allowing Tunduru farmers to grow cotton.

He said the district was endowed with similar geographic climate conditions as Shinyanga and Mwanza where cotton growing was booming. Dr Mathayo said the government would not lift the quarantine because the destructive worms were likely to spread to other cotton growing regions and consequently affect the crop in those areas.

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