By VALENTINE OFORO, DODOMA
The Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) in Morogoro region is set for a special strategy to spearhead the transformation of agro technologies towards the smallholder farmers within the vast coastal region.
Under the title of ‘Transforming Smallholders’ Agriculture Needs Technological Advancement’, the envisaged robust program targets to ensure the smallholder growers engaging in the cultivation of key economic cash and food crops are well equipped with necessary agronomic practices to improve yields and productivity.
The timely strategy was unveiled recently during the Institute’s Internal Program Review (IPR) for 2021, held for two days at the Ifakara Center.
“Among others, the session aimed to review the research works accomplished by the researchers over the past two years, as well as providing a helpful platform for the experts to re-assess where they are, but also set future plans,” Dr Ngabo Pamba, the technology transfer specialist at TARI Dakawa centre told The East Africa Herald in an interview.
He informed that during the event, at least 20 research and dissemination projects proposals were presented, discussed and approved.
“Also, the event created a vital opportunity for knowledge sharing between the senior scientists and junior, networking and mentorship arena,” he added.
He added that nine field crops were covered during the presentation, including maize, rice, banana, finger millet and pearl millet. Other were pulses (legumes) oilseeds (particularly sunflower), cassava, cotton and sorghum.
Moreover, Dr Ngabo detailed, several topics were also presented, based on Farm as Business Unit (FABU) and seed production, breeding, agronomy (soil science), post-harvest management (food science and technology), weeds management and natural resource management.
“Since TARI Dakawa and Ifakara centre have the mandate to spearheading research and development of the rice sub-sector, in the country, during the IPR meeting the centre’s presented reports over their current and future initiatives, in respect to rice crop development,” he expressed.
Of the presentation made, he informed, 19 presentations, equivalent to 43 percent focused on the rice crop only, capturing about three aspects in the rice value chain from an input supply (breeding and seed production), production (rice agronomy -development of agronomic packages), and post harvest management (processing an value addition).
“42 percent on the presentation on rice highlighted and concentrated on proposed interventions for future research and development, and dissemination activities,” he stated.
The two-day gathering attracted at least 52 scientists of different disciplines from three TARI centres of Ifakara (the host), Dakawa and Ilonga.
The stakeholders and partners who participated were Ifakara town council Agriculture, Irrigation and Cooperatives Officer, and a representative from the American Wildlife Foundation (AWF).
“TARI Dakawa team comprised of Ndimubandi Mvukiye (Principal rice agronomist), Ibrahim Paul (Rice agronomist), Victoria Bulegeya (Rice breeder), Mbaraka Batare (Rice breeding) and Remigius Kahwili (Technology dissemination personnel),” he unveiled.