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THEME 1.0: CROP PRODUCTION
Perennial field crop’s production
Coffee production
Scientific name:
i. Coffee Arabica
ii. Coffee Arabica
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION
Family name: Rubiaceae
Origin: The plant originated from Ethiopia highlands and was introduced in East Africa towards the end of 19th Century by French and Roman Catholic Missionaries.
Plant Characteristics
o Is a perennial plant with an economic life of more than 70 years.
o Beans of coffee (cherries) found contain 1-1.5% caffeine (as a stimulant beverage).
o The plant produces two types of branches vertical and horizontal branches mainly.
o The plant is self pollinated.
o The fruit is commonly referred to as a BERRY with two beans (cherries).
o When the berry is ripe the outer skin (exocarp) endosis a shing MUCILAGE (mesocarp) which in turn encloses a rough inner membrane (endocarp), this is commonly known as PATCHMENT enclosing 2 beans. A very thin TESTA known as SILVER SKIN (pulp) add here to each of the beans.
Economic Importance
o The dried beans are roasted, ground and brewed to make a stimulant beverage.
o The coffee pulp and parchment can be used as a manure and mulch once fermented (decay), decomposed.
o The pulp can be fed to livestock and the parchment can be used as deep litter.
o The pulp can also be used for the production of methane gas.
Distribution in Tanzania
i. Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Mbeya – Arabica
ii. Ruvuma, Kagera, Kigoma, Bukoba -Robusta
ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENT
o Altitude: 1200m-1800m a.s.l.
o Temperature: Optimum temperature is 15c-25c
High temperatures bring fast and soft growth with extended internodes.
Low temperatures the inter nodes shorten and the tree becomes bushy.
o Rainfall: 760mm-2500mm p.a.-Robusta
1500mm-2300mm p.a-Arabica
o Soils: Well drained, deep fertile soil with a pH of 5.2-6.2
NB:
i. Problems associated with low altitude
a. Tendency of continuous production of small flower.
b. stunted growth
c. Crinkling of leaves
ii. Problems associated with low altitude
a. The climate favors pest like Berry borers and diseases like rust
b. Multiple stem pruning cycle becomes too short
c. Coffee quality is usually low.
PROPAGATION
Seed selection
o Seeds must be selected from high yielding mothers which are free from pests and diseases.
o Harvest mature ripe berries (red in colour)
o Pulp and ferment, all flouting seeds must be removed.
o Dry seeds under shade to a moisture content of 18%-14%
Nursery site
o Should be near water source.
o Should be sheltered to prevent wind.
o Should be at a gentle slope.
o Should have deep and fertile soil.
o All weeds, stones must be removed.
Nursery sowing
o Prepare seedbeds of the 1.2m and 10.8m long leaving a path of 0.9m between them.
o Pre-germinate the seeds at later saw them in the seedbeds at a spacing of 15cmx15cm or 20cmx20cm and 2.5cm deep.
o Shade should be provided as well as water should be done.
NB:
Seeds should be planted with flat side down ward.
Seedlings are ready for transplanting 1-11/2 years when they attain 30cm tall.
Transplanting
o Field preparation should start 6 months prior rain season.
o All plant/ tree roots must be removed to avoid the development of Armillaria Mellea fungus which may cause Armillaria root diseases to the crop.
o 3 months to the rain season, transplanting holes have to be prepared.
o Prepare holes of the size 60cmx60cm at a spacing of 2.7mx2.7m (for Arabic) OR 3.3mX3.3m (for Robusta). This is used if shade trees are not used.
o If shade trees are used the spacing in increased to 14mx144m (Arabica) and 22mx22m (Robusta).
o 2-3 weeks before transplanting 1debe of top soil and 1debe of farm yard manure or compost is mixed and filled in the holes.
o A peg is put at the centre of the hole to mark or place where the seedling will be inserted.
o During transplanting roots (especially tap root) must not be bent.
o Mulching should be applied around the stem but not touching the stem.
Advantages of shade trees in coffee field
o Reduces evapotranspiration.
o Most of the shade used is leguminous hence they help to supply Nitrogen to the plant.
o It modifies climate.
o It reduces soil erosion.
o Before the foliage decomposes it acts as mulch and after decomposition it acts as manure.
o Reduces wind effects.
Common shade trees are:
Gravellea robusta
Albizia spp
Cordia Abyssinia
FIELD MANAGEMENT
i. Weeding
a) Common weeds found in common fields are: Couch grass, star grass and Kikuyu grass.
b) Weeding can either be done by cultural method e.g. mulching cultivation using simple tools or slashing.
c) Chemical control involve use of herbicides e.g. paraquat, smazing atrazine, dalopon etc.
ii. Fertilizer application
a) On soil with pH below 5, CAN (Calcium Ammonium Nitrate) should be applied.
b) Soils with pH5-6.5, CAN and NPK should be applied on alternative years.
c) On soil with pH greater than 6.5, SA (Sulphate of Ammonium) or Urea can be applied/ used.
d) The rate of application depends on the soil nutrient level but ranges from 90kg N/ hact -255kgN/ hact
iii. Pruning
This is the act of removing dead branches; pest and diseases attacked branches as well as old branches.
Purpose:
o Improve light penetration.
o Improve spacing
o Discourage pest and fungal diseases.
o Facilitate application of pesticides.
o Facilitate easy harvesting.
o Facilitate formation of high quality berries.
o Facilitate vigorous growth.
Types of pruning
a) Single stem pruning: This involves retaining the original stem and keeping a height of 1.5-1.8m tall.
b) Multiple stem pruning: This involves retaining 2-4 upright stem.
Stages of pruning
a) Formative stage: This involves establishment of the main work of the tree on which every system of trimming (pruning) will be done.
b) Actual pruning stage: This involves routine encouragement of vigorous growth of the production of a healthy tree and heavy cropping.
Pruning
Arabica coffee should be grown as a single stem system. Pruning is required to:
supply good healthy wood for the next season’s crop;
maintain the correct balance between leaf area and crop (Figure 27);
prevent overbearing and dieback;
reduce biennial bearing;
Maintain good tree shape.
Desuckering
Year 1
Desucker to maintain a single stem system and avoid competition from suckers (Figure 28).
Remove ‘fly crop’ fruit (early fruit which compete with strong plant/root development) as they appear.
Year 2
Desucker to remove drooping primary branches that touch the ground. Cut back to nearest secondary branch.
Remove secondary branches within 8 inches (20 cm) of the main stem. Remove all fruit as they appear (fly crop).
Year 3
Trees should be allowed to crop in the third year.
Cap the main stem by cutting above a side primary shoot at about 5 ft (1.6 m) from soil level.
Desucker to remove drooping primary branches touching the ground. Cut back to nearest secondary branch.
Remove secondary branches within 8 inches (20 cm) of the main stem.
Maintain a maximum number of well-spaced secondary branches on each primary branch.
Remove all dead, weak and spindly pest or disease damaged branches.
As plants grow, they can become too crowded and suffer loss of production. Alternate trees can be stumped by cutting off at knee height – about 20 inches (50 cm) from soil level. When these trees are producing again after two years, stump the remaining trees (see notes on stumping).
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION

General pruning and desuckering of tree over years 1 and 2. Capping during year 3. Newly capped tree photo (above)
Rejuvenation (Change of cropping cycle)
A regular rejuvenation pruning is needed (normally at six to seven years depending on tree vigor and yield pattern), to maintain a source of new fruiting wood. Unless trees are renewed, yield will decline over the following years.
Two rejuvenation methods are used:
o Side pruning
o Full stumping
Side pruning
This involves removing one side of the tree, training a new sucker and then removing the other side of tree two years later. This method is recommended for all growers, as only 50% of the crop is
lost for the two-year period.
Two years before stumping, remove all branches on the eastern side of tree after harvesting. Select a new sucker approximately 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) from the soil level, and train the shoot by thinning as described for a new planting (Stages 1 and 2) until bearing a crop (Stage 3).
Two years later, stump the older stem above the new stem. Cut at a 45° angle – do not cut straight (Stage 4).
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION


A coffee tree after being side pruned
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION
The four stages in side pruning a coffee tree
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION
Diagram of full stumping procedure. Choose the strongest shoot and remove the rest; note the
45° cut angle. Photograph of a stumped tree after re-growth (left)
Remove all young suckers from the main stem.
Remove all secondary branches around primary braches within 15cm, from the main stem.
Remove all dead, diseased, pest attacked and non-bearing branches.
o The final result should be 170cm and wide enough to allow light penetration.
iv. PEST AND DISEASE CONTROL
a) Pests
i. Leaf1 minor: Leucopters spp
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION
Damage: The larva bone into the leaves and feed on the palisade tissues. Brown blotches appear on the leaves.
ii. Antestia bug: The suck the berries causing longitudinal/ zebra stripes and defoliation of buds.
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION
o Other pests include
Berry moth
Meanly bugs All are sucking insects
White scales
Thrips
General control: Timely spraying of insecticides e.g. Dursban, Dictofos, Dieldrin etc at a rate of 1litre/ hact.
b) Diseases
i. Coffee berry disease
Cause: Fungus known as Collelotrichum coffeanum
Symptoms:
The fungus causes the formation of necrotic lesion which turns to brownish rings on leaves.
On fruits they become blackish, skrikelled and later drops.
The fungus is spread by rain drops or wind.
Control:
Cultural methods:
Pruning the affected branches to lower the humidity.
Remove fruits resulting from season flowering.
Proper supply of nutrients to plants to increase resistance to the disease.
Chemical methods:
Use of fungicides e.g. Cobox 500WP, Sandox 500WP, Nodox 500WP, Perenox, Bravo.
ii. Coffee leaf rust
Cause: Fungus known as Hemilleria Vastatrix
Symptoms: Yellowish pustules on the leaf causing defoliation.
Control:
Cultural control
Chemical use of fungicide e.g. Bravo
Other Diseases:
Wilting (die back)- Fusanium stiboides
Armillaria root rot- Armillaria melea
v. HARVESTING
o Through picking
o Done by hand when cherry is uniform ripe, over ripe, berries (dark) may be difficult to pulp.
o Unripe berries (green) may not have enough mucilage for effective pulping.
o Berries of mixed ripeness cause un even fermentation.
o Yellow berries produce poor quality. Process after picking
Two methods
a) Dry method
b) Wet methods
Dry methods (Buni)
Can be done in two ways
i. The berries can be left to dry out in the field then collected on the tree and ground as BUNI
ii. Berries can be picked and dried on the sun in raised trays.
Wet method (Arabica)
o Cherries are fed with water into pulping machine which separates beans from the skin.
o Parchment coffee is left for 2-4 days in fermenting gas where the sticky mucilage is removed by being broken down by enzymes.
o Beans are wished to get rid of the broken berry mucilage.
o Drying is done under the sun.
Yield:
Average 800kg/ ha-1250kg/ ha
NB:
o Robusta coffee is grown in low altitudes about 1100-1400m a.s.l the tree have vigorous growth has large coarse leaves with convagated surface contrary to Arabica which have flat surface.
o Robusta has characteristics (features) of heavy bearing, if it is not attacked by many pests and diseases.
o Many growths leave the tree unprunned because the tree does not suffer from over bearing as for Arabica.
o The crop is sold as sundried cherry which is hulled at factories.
Yield:
1900kg/ ha or more
TEA
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION

Scientific name: Camllia Sinensis
Variety:
Sinensis
Camellia Sinensis variety
Sinensis Assamica
Origin: China
Major producers include- India, Taiwan, Argentina, China, Kenya, Thailand, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Zaire, Mauritius and Tanzania.
Distribution in Tanzania
Tukuyu, Mbeya, Mufindi.
Uses
Used as a beverage
For medical purposes. (Extraction of fluorine)
Characteristics of ASSAM tea Camellia sinensis var assamica
Grow up to 9m high.
Adapted to tropics.
Have high fast growth
High yield
Have pale green leaves.
Flowers are born in clusters of 2 and 4.
Characteristics of CHINATEA Camellin sinensis var sinesis
Dwarf, never grow than 4.5m
Adapted to sub-tropics.
Low growth rate
Narrow leaves which markedly serrated
Dark green leaves
Low yield
Flowers born singly
ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS
o Altitude: Grown in high altitude since it demand acidic soils and high rainfall (about the height of 1500-1800m a.s.l)
o Temperature: 20-25c
o Rainfall: 1500-1700mm/ annum
o Soils: Well drained pH 4-6 (acidic soils)
FIELD MANAGEMENT
Propagation
Seeds
Vegetative
Using seeds
Seeds should be obtained from plants with desirable (good) qualities.
Tea seeds germination is uneven due to roughness of seed coat, so pre-germinations necessary for ensuring uniform (even) germination.
NB:
Seeds usually have a high segregation, so cuttings are more preferred.
Seeds are selected by floatation test where seeds are immersed in water for 24 hours, all seeds floating are discarded.
Seed should be pre-germinated by covering them with wet sacks, and then planted in the nursery beds about 2.5cm at 13-15cm spacing.
Seedlings are ready when they attain 12-13cm thickness after 2yrs
Seedlings are lifted from the ground and the part which is above the ground is cut to 10cm stump.
Qualities of good mother plant
Should have dark green leaves.
Should not be too brittle.
Should have an ability to repair the dam aged tissues quickly.
Should have less number of Banjhi shoots (not more than5)
Plants with too much hair on their leaves should be discarded.
Cuttings
Mother trees are allowed to grow for about 6 months after pruning thus providing long stems for cutting.
Single leaf internodes cutting are usually used. The top 2or 3 internodes of each stem and the portion towards the base of the stem should be discarded.
The top cut must be made near the auxiliary buds as possible and the lower cut must slop/ slant.
Cuttings are planted in the polthene sheet as tube of 25cm disturbances.
Cutting are ready for transplanting in the main filed when the roots reached the bottom of the sleeves and when 20cm high. This is attained after 6-10 months in the nursery.
Cuttings are immersed in water to maintain the same turgidity before planting.
Land preparation
Site selection
Avoid-heart site (settlement)
cattle bomas
charcoal burning site
This is because they have high pH level.
Holes are dug at a depth of 30cm and size is 30cmx30cm at a spacing of 1.5mx0.7m or 1.2mx0.9m.
Shade trees should be planted along field boundaries; common shade trees used is Hokea saligna, Gravellia Robusta or Spathode nilotica (Africa Nandi flane)
Fertilizer application
1132 of leaves take 62kg of N from the soil hence N application is important. This has to be applied 3 months after planting until the crop is at economic level using NPK at a ratio of 25:5:5.
NB: CAN fertilizers should not be used as it limit the uptake.
Phosphorus (P) deficiency leads to Die back while potassium (K) deficiency leads to scorching effects i.e. leaves turn dark green with dark brown margins and later defoliate.
Sulphur (S) deficiency results to yellowing leaves.
Nitrogen fertilizer (i.e. NPK) should be applied 110-120kg N per hact and Phosphate fertilizers should be 27kg P2O5per hact.
MULCHING
It is important at early stages, but later stages, plant provides their own mulch when pruning is done.
Pruning/ frame formation/ plucking table
The process falls under two stages.
i. Formative
ii. Pegging
I. Formative stage (frame formation )
This is done by stimulating lateral growth to grow sideways so as to have a wide and continuous frame for plucking table.
This starts when plants reaches 30-35cm after one year, the plant is cut 15cm from the ground.
Lateral roots will grow and left to attain a pencil size thickness, the plant is cut down to 27cm from the ground.
It takes 2-3 yrs to reach the convenient height.
Generally 12cm-13cm is added every year until the plant reaches 60cm tall.
II. Pegging
After formation of the frame new shoots are allowed to grow for 3months. These are remo0ved by the process known as TIPPING (This is the removal of 3 leaves and a bud from the tips of the shoots which grow above the require height)
This process is done by hand and a wooden frame is used to give a correct tipping height.
This is done at 2-3weeks interval. The maintenance foliage should be 20cm-30cm deep.
Pegs are prepared for each shoot to be pegged.
Two rows of branches on either side of the stem are pegged such that the stem radiates outwards.
MAINTENANCE COLLAGE
Removal of Bhanjhi shoots
These are dormant shoots with hard leaves due to prolonged production of several leaves. These shoots have to be removed once they appear above the plucking table.
Pests
o Leaf minor
o Trips: They sack the cell sap of the plant and cause leaf defoliation.
o Mites
Disease
o In East Africa only Armillaria root rot which cause root decay is common.
Control:
o Proper land preparation
o Removal of affected plants.
HARVESTING (TEA PLUCKING)
Plucking: This is the process of tea harvesting.
Methods of Plucking
i. Fine plucking: This involves tipping 2 leaves and a bud. This produce high quality tea.
ii. Coarse plucking: This involves picking more than two and a bud. This reduces plucking frequency.
iii. Hard plucking: This involve
s breaking of the tip of the shoot exactly the height of the plucking table.
This reduces the depth of the maintenance foliage.
iv. Light plucking: This involves picking 2 leaves and a bud after 3 leaves have been produced above the plucking table. This can be done once or twice on year.
NB: Plucking interval is 5-7 days depending on the condition and method of plucking used.
YIELD: Average 1500kg of leaves/ hect
CARDAMON
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION
Scientific name: Celettaria Cardamomum
Uses:
Dry cardamom fruits are used as spice.
It is used as medicine.
Leaves are used for flavoring bread, cakes etc.
It is used as aromatic stimulant in some beverages e.g1. tea
It is used in preparation of some cosmetics.
Distribution
Tanga, Zanzibar, Rungwe (Mbeya)
ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS
Altitude: Ranges from 750-1500m a.s.l
Rainfall: 1500mm-2500mm p.a.
Temperature 10c-30c
Soils: Deep fertile soil well supplied with humus
pH should be slightly acidic or slightly.
PROPAGATION
It can be propagated vegetative by division of rhizomes in small scale production.
Also seeds can be in large scale production.
Seeds are collected from fully ripe capsules (fruits) and then dried in shade and sown immediately. The mucilage can be removed by rubbing in ashes before drying them up.
Seedlings are transplanted when they are about 15cm tall (usually 3-4 months) at a spacing of 1.5mx3m.
FIELD MANAGEMENT
o Consists of weeding, mulching, removal of old and dry stems, filling the gaps, regulating the shade and manuring.
o Cardamon come to bearing 3years after transplanting and full bearing 4-5 years after planting.
o The economic life of cardamom is 10-15 years.
Pests
Thrips: (Thrips tabaci) Damage: Suckle the cell sap.
Control: Use of insecticides e.g. Dursban, Dursam.
Diseases
a) Leaf rot: Caused by bacteria
Damage: Causing rotting of leaves
Control: cultural practices e.g. field hygiene, crop rotation.
b) Mable disease
HARVESTING
o The fruits are harvested just before they fully dry in order to prevent the capsule from splitting when left fully dry.
o Fruits are sun dried or treated artificially by heat.
o Dried capsules are winnowed to remove pedicels and foreign material.
YIELD
Dry capsule; 112-200 kg/ hect/ annum
Market: towns and lockets exported.
COCONUT
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION
Scientific name: Cocos nicifera
Origin: Asia and South Europe (East India)
Distribution in coastal areas like Tanga, Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Pwani.
Varieties
Classified according to height.
a) Tall varieties
i. Most popular in East Africa.
ii. Germination of the nut occur after 2 ½-3 months.
iii. Have strong stems which can grow up to 35m early.
iv. They can produce 50-80 nuts/ year for 60-100 years
v. First bearing is after 6 or 5-10
years
vi. Maximum period is after 9-10years
vii. Produce big sized nuts with thick copr1a and high oil content.
b) Dwarf varieties
i. Takes a short time to germinate 1 ½-2 months.
ii. Economic life is short i.e. 30-40 years.
iii. Maximum production starts 5-6 years.
iv. Have small nuts with thin copra and low oil content.
v. Produce 150-200 nuts/ year
vi. There are preferred because of easy harvesting, high yield, resistant to lethal yellow disease
Disadvantages of dwarfs
o Susceptible to strong winds and dry conditions.
o Susceptible to rhinoceros beetle because they are succulents.
o Limits inter-cropping.
Exam
ples:
Tall: East African tall, West Africa tall, Polynesian African tall.
Dwarf: Malaysian yellow dwarf, Malayan red dwarf, Cameroon yellow dwarf, Brazilian green dwarf, Equatorial green dwarf, Mawa, Camwa
Uses:
Oil, which is obtained from the white flesh of mature dry nuts i.e. copra (contains 65-70% oil) which used for cooking of tening the slanets.
Coconut juice (milk) for drinking.
Palm wine (mnazi) is extracted from un opened (young) influence.
Leaves can be used for thatching and making baskets.
Midrib of leaves can be used for making fences also for fire wood and making of brooms.
Making of mattresses from course brown fibres.
The endocarp can be used in making cups calabashes.
Poles can be used for building houses
ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS
o Altitude: 0-1000m a.s.l.
o Rainfall: Well distributed of over 120mm per annum optimum 2500mm.
o Temperature: 27c- 28c
o Soil: Deep well drained and aerated light sandy soils with pH of 5.0-8.0
PROPAGATION
Nursery:
Should be near permanent source of water.
Select medium sized nuts since they absorb water faster.
Plants in trenches (horizontally) leave a small portion unburned.
Frequent irrigation should be done.
Seedling is ready for transplanting when they produce 6leaves (2 month old).
Main field:
Old stumps and leaves should be burned to control rhinoceros beetle.
Mix FYM, TSP, CAN, MCPA, Magnesium Sulphate in 6-12m (hole)
Spacing: 9×9 tall varieties, 7×7 m short varieties.
Depth: deep, there can be 120-140 plants/ hectare
Preparation and planting
Propagation by seeds “seed nuts” planted in nursery trenches where seedling is maintenance for 9-12 months when they have 3-4 leaves.
Transplanted at beginning of rains. Holes 60cm are dug someday in advance. Nuts of seedling are planted 30-45cm below surface.
Field maintance
NPK 500g/ tree/ year.
Nitrogen should be applied to increase number of flowers.
Weeding done around the stem using hand hoes.
Herbicides application e.g. Paraquat, atrazine.
Pest and Disease control
Pests
1. Rhinoceros beetle: Orycytes monocerous
Damage:
Stuck the terminal bud.
Destroy the unopened leaves and the growing point.
When attacked leaves open they produce v-shaped notches.
Leaves dry up.
Control:
Destroy all decaying trucks, stems, leaves by burning.
Using wire to pierce the beetle.
2. Coreid bug: Pseudotheraptus wayii
Damage: -Suck the juice on young nuts and cause cracklings on the nuts and drop off.
Control: -Biological control by Ocephylla Longinoda i.e. Majimoto ants
3. Termites and other sucking insects.
Control: – Dust with Aldrin around trees.
Diseases
i. Bole rot
Cause: -Fungus Marasuniellus- Cocophilus
Symptoms: -Yellowing of leaves and wilting of plants
Control: – Avoid damaging the roots.
-Avoid infected seedlings.
ii. Lethal yellow disease (viral)
Symptoms: -Light brown irregular lesion starting at the tip of young leaves.
Control: -No chemical control.
-Uproot affected plants.
Harvesting and produce yield:
-First bearing 5-10 years after transplanting.
-Full bearing 10-18 years
-Nuts harvested 7-10months after flowering.
-For copra production, harvesting at full maturity.
Yield: -15-30 nuts per tree
Products from nuts
Margarine, oils, soaps, mattress struffing, baskets, etc.
Dried leaves are used to thatch mats and baskets.
EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTIONCASHEW NUTS


Scientific name: Anacardium Occidentale
Origin: America
Distribution: Ruvuma, Lindi and Tanga in Tanzania
Uses
Cashew nuts apple is used in alcohol brewing.
The apple can be eaten as it provides vitamins to the body.
The stems and branches once dry are used as firewo
od.
Nuts can be used as food.
Roots used as medicine
Provides the country with forex when sold to outside countries especially cold countries because of oils content used to keep the body warm.
Provides us with oil.
ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS
Altitude: 0-750m a.s.l.
Temperature: favors temperature up to 35c
Rainfall: 750-900mm per 1annum
Soil: Well drained soil with acidic pH 4.5-6.5 i.e. acidic soil
PROPAGATION
The crop is directly propagated using the seeds e.g. the nuts. Also the crop can be propagated by air layering and grafting methods but the use of seeds is more preferable, it should be noted that heavy seeds are most viable. Seed beds are first prepared and these require careful clearing and burning well before sowing.
Sowing is done at the beginning of rains Holes are dug 30cm wide and 5.0-7.5cm deep, seeds are planted 2.5cm apart in each hole. Spacing is 12mx12m or 15mx15m
Field management
Temporary shades are provided over young seedlings.
Thinning is done to one plant per hole after one year.
Pruning might be necessary in the first three year.
Weeding around trees helps during harvesting.
Fertilizer/ manure application is not important or essential for the crop since the crop undergo intense (massive) foliage i.e. dropping of many leaves on to the ground, this act leads to the formation of humus as the leaves decomposes on the ground thus, there will be addition of nutrients in the soil hence no need of adding nutrients by the use of manure nor fertilizer.

But if deficiency of an element e.g. boron deficiency fertilizer containing required amount of the element needed.
Pests and diseases
Pests
i. Sucking insects e.g. helopelts bug
Damage: These suck the cashew apple
Control: Use of DDT and BHC sprayers or dust Diseases
Harvesting:
First bearing if after 3 years.
Full bearing is after 8-10years from sowing.
After the fruit has (cashew apple) ripened, It drops down to the ground together with the cashew nut whereby it can be collected.
When the cashew nut apple may be left on the ground where it may or may not sprout (develop into a seedling) when splashes of rainfall are present or if the cashew apple is collected it may be eaten or may be used in alcohol brewing.
Processing
A place where cashew nut processing is mostly done in Tanzania is TANITA
After the cashew apple and the cashew nut drops on the ground, the nut is taken and dried for 3-4days.
Roasting is done after the crop is already dry
Take off the outer cover i.e. separate the kernel (the eaten part) from the outer cover by bursting it thus after busting take of the kernel and the cashew nut “Kernel” is ready for eating.
Yield
600kg-1000kg/ hect or 590-1100 kg/ hect
NB: For a better quality outcome of the crop (products) motorized sprayers containing sulphur compounds to be used to kill the sucking insects which hinders the crops production.




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EcoleBooks | AGRICULTURE O LEVEL(FORM FOUR) NOTES - CROP PRODUCTION

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