Sisal crops can be grown in most parts of East Africa including those with low and unreliable rainfall and poor sandy soils. Tanzania is the major producer and it’s grown mainly along the coast near Tanga, Lindi, and Dar-es-salaam. In Kenya, it’s grown along the coast near Mombasa, Masai land, and near Nakuru. Used for making sacks and ropes
Problems faced in sisal production
- It is affected by diseases such as Honeydew and leaf blight which lead to poor quality output.
- Weather changes e.g. heavy rains lead to rotting of the stems hence losses for farmers.
- The crop is thorny which makes it difficult to harvest.
- Requires a lot of capital investment to buy farm equipment e.g. gumboots and gloves.
- Competition from synthetic fibres e.g. nylon and polythenes which reduces the market for sisal products.
- Soil exhaustion due to monoculture leading to low and poor quality yields.
- Scarcity of labour especially during the harvesting period.