PLANS are underway for an Indian investor to set up a cassava processing plant in Dodoma with the view of getting starch for animal feed.
The ambitious project comes as farmers and entrepreneurs in the central zone regions are establishing larger cassava plantations in Mkalama District, Singida Region.
The envisaged plant has been unveiled by Dodoma Regional Secretary for Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Idd Senge.
He said the investor, Ramani Veerappan, was recently here to inspect the plantations to establish if the crop was ideal for production of the animal feed.
"The investor was here to establish if the crop has the needed content for grinding starchy for the production of animal feed," he revealed.
He said that the investor has to a larger extent been satisfied with the quality of cassava, adding that if all goes well, the plan will succeed. "The investor's intention is to install the modern factory adjacent to the plantation.
We have reached this good stage after managing to invent a new high-breed cassava seed called MUMBA, which produces bumper harvest," he expressed.
He said the high-quality variety has been successively developed by the Hombolo-based Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARILI).
"With this new seed, farmers can harvest between 25 and 30 tonnes of dry cassava, but also at least 60 to 80 tonnes of fresh cassava per acre," he detailed
Mr Senge said the 100-acre plantation project has also been made possible through cooperation of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Producers of Cassava Seeds (Wa-MBM) and Dodoma-based SMART STEPS co. LTD.
Despite being endowed with friendly weather for the cultivation of cassava, farmers in Dodoma and Singida have for years failed to reap the fruit from crop.
The failure, among others, has been attributed to lack of awareness over the benefits of growing the cash crop, lack of relevant agronomic practices and absence of quality seeds.