The Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) said on Sunday plans were afoot to introduce 13 new grape varieties from South Africa to boost production of wine in the country.
“The new grape varieties will also improve the country’s production of grapes,” said Cornel Massawe, head of TARI at Makutopora centre in Dodoma region, the country’s leading grape producer.
Lack of wine grape varieties was stalling massive production of wines in the east African nation, said Massawe.
He said the varieties to be introduced from South Africa were a mixture of red and white grafted scions as well as root stocks.
Massawe said introduction of the hybrid varieties will go in tandem with many interventions to increase cultivation of grapes within the country, a move anticipated to stimulate wine making industries across the country.
For years, grapes were known to thrive in Dodoma region only but recent research had established that it can grow well in Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Arusha, Tabora, Mwanza and Ruvuma regions, he said.
Available statistics by the Ministry of Agriculture indicate that there are at least 1,696 grape farmers in Dodoma region with an annual production volume of 10 052 tonnes.
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