A section Farmer participating in teleconference call with ARIFU and ACAI in Tanzania. Trainees were put in groups of three people during the multiple people call training sessions.
The African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) in a joint effort with ARIFU
has ensured the continuation of training farmers in Tanzania during the
coronavirus pandemic. Despite the semi lockdown and other measures out in place by health agencies to infections and spreading of the corona virus. ACAI and ARIFU have been carrying out virtual trainings with extension agents and farmers through teleconference phone calls.
ARIFU and ACAI staff conducted the training to understand the financial
management information needs and challenges faced by cassava farmers across the agro-ecological zones in Tanzania. The training was carried out to also understand cassava farmer’s current knowledge on finance best practices, farmers’ previous adoption on finance management, the barriers the farmers encountered along the way, their perspectives about financial management in farming and their views about engaging in farming as a business.
Additionally, the training provided a platform for ACAI to understand the
business information needs and challenges of cassava farming. Some of the
difficulties faced by cassava farmers included; limited access to loans, lack
of enough capital, and limited knowledge on saving and borrowing to boost their business. Farmers also expressed their lack of knowledge on proper record keeping and its implications on cassava farming. Farmers also lack assured market for cassava roots and their products.
ARIFU is a personal learning tool used for communication via any mobile
device with or without internet, it also offers other special features used for
financial and business management. The training was carried out in form of focus group discussions.
The team managed to train 7 farmers from the Eastern zone and 9 farmers from the Lake zone and thus surpassing the target number.
ACAI and her partners have been working under strict precautionary measures hence the the decision to meet virtually as a safety measures put in place to avoid direct contact with farmers during this coronavirus pandemic.