Months after the launch of the program to finance cassava farmers in Handeni district, coastal region of Tanzania, ACAI project conducted a series of trainings on the use of the AKILIMO agronomy advice tools and the proper interpretation of the recommendations deployed by the tools.
The training program is aimed at equipping the farmers with knowledge on the proper fertilizer use, scheduling planting and harvest to get the best market prices, crop monitoring to control weeds and get the optimum starch content in the cassava roots through precision nutrient supply to the crops.
Working together with the Handeni District leadership, the ACAI team in Tanzania has trained 351 smallholder cassava growers distributed over five clusters with Handeni district. The trained farmers composed of 61 women and 291 men are among 421 beneficiaries of a loan facility worth US $1.3 million which was provided collaboratively between Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) and National Microfinance Bank (NMB) in June 2020.
Speaking at the official opening of the training, the District Executive Director of Handeni District, William Mathew Makufwe lauded the collaborating team trainers from ACAI and partners for preparing a comprehensive training syllabus for farmers. ACAI project staff have developed a set of training materials to facilitate knowledge transfer and capacity building for different audiences in local languages.
At the launch of the of the cassava farmers financing program, AKILIMO was designated as part of the empowering tools and innovations for farmers to improve their productivity through applying the best agronomic practices and earn an income from cassava growing.
The project in collaboration with the district leadership has organized more trainings for remaining batch of farmers within the program and others who are interested in the AKILIMO recommendations. It is expected that AKILIMO tools will deploy recommendations that help farmers to be repay the loan advanced to them.