A collaboration between ACAI partners and the local government authorities in Tanzania has ensured a continuation of stakeholder trainings and farmer sensitization during the coronavirus pandemic. Kilimo Joint a capacity building and agricultural consulting enterprise and eSOKO an agricultural digital solutions company and an ACAI primary partner have teamed with government officials of Mkuranga District in the Eastern Zone of Tanzania to conduct training for selected new project partners and farmers on the use of fertilizer in growing cassava as recommended by the AKILIMO decision support tools.
The training is conducted around the established Fertilizer Recommendation demonstration plots. Farmers are shown how to calculate proper fertilizer rates, the appropriate time and suitable weather conditions for applying fertilizer and how to evaluate whether investing in fertilizer for cassava will be profitable. 67 participants from several groups of cassava producers and farmers in Kiparang’anda and Kisuju villages were also trained on using fertilizer to increase the yield of the cassava as well as the quality of their roots by following the recommendations from AKILIMO decision support tools.
The continuation of activities and training has been necessitated by the demand and need from farmers for support. Planting and cropping seasons in Tanzania have a short and specific window which farmers cannot afford to miss.
The team has been working under strict precautionary measures observing safe social distance, wearing protective masks and sanitizing regularly. Between April and May, the team had trained three groups of individuals representing the cassava processing sector in the district.
The government officials are drawn from the District Agricultural, Irrigation and Cooperatives Office (DAICO) and the local District Crops Officer, (DCO). Kilimo Joint has also trained 17 Extension Agents (EAs) in Mkuranga district on farmer profiling using Insyt tool developed by eSOKO.