AKILIMO will be a significant part of the projected growth and development of the cassava sector in Tanzania once a new development strategy for the crop has been approved. This came to the fore at a recent workshop held to develop a long-term strategy to grow and improve the cassava value chain in Tanzania into a commercial and self-sustaining sector.
The workshop was organized by the Crop Development Department at the Ministry of Agriculture to look into the bottlenecks affecting cassava production and commercialization in the country and to come up with permanent solutions.
Cassava has been identified as one of the strategic foods and cash crop for Tanzania in the Agricultural Sector Development Program (ASDP II) and thus incorporated in the programs strategy for the coming 10 years. The inclusion of cassava into a long term development plans by ASDP II provides an opportunity for the latest innovations in the cassava value chain such as AKILIMO to be widely adopted and used by the targeted end users.
The workshop which was held at Morogoro in September, 2020 brought together major stakeholder in the cassava value chain in Tanzania including large scale producers, processors, input manufacturers, researchers and regulatory bodies was seeking input from all key players in the sector.
Among the invited participants to the workshop was Dr Freddy Baijukya, agronomist and country coordinator of ACAI project in Tanzania who presented about AKILIMO to workshop participants. Freddy pointed out the importance of the cassava Development strategy as an avenue to scale AKILIMO tools as well champion the application to improve agronomic practices in Tanzania after the strategy had been approved.
“We have mainstreamed AKILIMO and other products from IITA in this strategy and everybody is happy to see there are solutions to challenges facing cassava farmers” Said Dr Baijukya
Speaking after the workshop, Mrs. Upendo, Mdeme, the cassava subject matter specialist at the Ministry of Agriculture pointed out that AKILIMO offers flexible recommendation to a wide range of cassava growers. She sensitized on this to enable cassava growers to be a part of this process on the development of cassava crop in Tanzania.
Other participants to the workshop were from Private Sector (processors), representatives of Tanzania Cassava Producers and Processors Association (TACAPPA), Scientists from IITA, Researchers from Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), representatives of Local Governments and Development partners MEDA and TANTRADE. The final version of the strategy is expected out by December 2020.