A participatory approach involving farmers to solve crop and livestock production challenges in the semi-arid areas of central Tanzania, won the appreciation of the Tanzanian Deputy Minister of Labour, Employment and Youth Development, Mr Anthony Mavunde at an agricultural fair held recently.
Aflatoxin mitigation, food safety and market competitiveness; using gliricidia as green manure for doubling up pigeonpea productivity; improving poultry genetics and feeding for enhanced productivity; integrated crop management technologies; and improved seeds for quality protein maize were among the technologies showcased. Visitors’ queries were addressed by farmers and officers from the ICRISAT-led Africa RISING project being implemented in the semi-arid areas of Kongwa and Kiteto districts.
“I am impressed by what Africa RISING is doing. The farmers are confidently explaining the showcased technologies. This participatory approach of farmers learning from fellow farmers as we have seen today will quicken technology dissemination and help them learn from the innovation platforms established,” said Mr Mavunde. The minister was also impressed by the initiative to intensify aflatoxin awareness campaigns among farmers in the wake of a mysterious disease, said to be caused by aflatoxin that left 14 people dead.
The stall put up at the week-long agricultural fair in Dodoma was visited by over 1,000 farmers and was named one of the most visited sites by a group of evaluators. The fair brought together farmers and other agricultural stakeholders including universities, research institutes and agricultural inputs suppliers.