YARA Tanzania, a subsidiary of the global fertilizer conglomerate Yara International AS has agreed to partner with ACAI in the dissemination the cassava agronomy decision support tools. ACAI has been doing research to develop a suite agronomy advice tools to help improve cassava intensification, productivity and production targeting smallholder farmers through cassava value chain actors.
ACAI project activities coordinator for East Africa, Dr. Veronica NE Uzokwe together the ACAI colleagues met with Yara Tanzania Head of Agronomy Mr. Peter Assey on May 21 to review potential areas that YARA can intervene specifically for validation and dissemination activities of the ACAI project.
The ACAI team provided YARA with background information on potential areas that YARA can engage with ACAI project. They highlighted the importance of encouraging cassava growers to use fertilizers for cassava production to increase productivity and household income.
The discussions were a follow up on the initial meeting between the two teams in April in which the partnership was agreed. ACAI project Leader, Dr. Pieter Pypers who led the previous meeting said the partnership with YARA is a great opportunity to diversify and tailor the ACAI decision tools to meet the needs of the farmers at the grassroots level. ACAI monitoring and evaluation specialist Theresa Ampadu-Boakye was part of the discussions.
In a letter expressing interest to be part of the project dissemination activities, YARA’s head of agronomy in Tanzania Mr. Peter Assey said the company will incorporate ACAI recommendations in their short code messaging services.
“We are confident that the project will contribute to strengthening cassava production in Tanzania,” Wrote Mr. Assey.
The partnership will enhance to the reach and impact of the ACAI agronomy advice tools in the areas that YARA already has operation networks beyond the project areas of intervention. ACAI, on the other hand, will provide tailored recommendation for fertilizer blends for specific locations to improve the effectiveness of the fertilizer sold by YARA in Tanzania for cassava growers.
Dr. Uzokwe on her part termed the partnership between ACAI and YARA a masterstroke at combining precision research with wide dissemination platforms for the benefit of smallholder farmers.
“We shall achieve the expectations of the cassava growers for site-specific recommendation and promote the relevant and appropriate use in cassava farming through this partnership.” Said Dr. Uzokwe
ACAI will share with YARA the planned activities for the validation of the decision support tools and dissemination of the tools at grassroots level later in the year. YARA will incorporate ACAI DSTs, especially the Fertilizer Recommendation (FR) and Fertilizer Blending (FB) tools.