Various agricultural interventions being implemented by Africa RISING Tanzania project partners were last month (1-8 August 2015) exhibited during the ‘nane nane’ agricultural fair in Arusha, Tanzania.
Over 200 participants, mostly farmers, visited the Africa RISING stand to learn about the project’s activities and ongoing interventions. Importantly, the participants also gave valuable feedback on some of the displayed technologies.
Interventions showcased at the fair included Aflasafe biocontrol product, mycotoxin management, post-harvest handling of vegetables as well as labour reducing livestock feed processing machines (choppers). Visitors to the Africa RISING stand were also given short training courses on best practices in vegetable-poultry integration.
‘I am so impressed with what I have learnt from the Africa RISING stand,’ said Emmanuel Bebek, a farmer from Ngaramotoni ya Juu. ‘I want to now implement the new things I have learnt, especially regarding livestock feed processing. I am so happy to leave this place with new knowledge,’ he said.
Bebek requested the project team to consider working beyond the selected districts saying the project’s activities would benefit all farmers in Tanzania.
Judith Richard, a farmer from Tanga also expressed her gratitude to the project team for the exhibition and brief training. She said she was impressed most by the labour reducing maize shelling machine saying it was ‘a great innovation that I would like to have because traditional maize processing methods are very tiresome and time-consuming, especially for us (women ) who are mostly left to do the shelling after harvest.’
Like Bebek, she noted that the challenges being addressed by Africa RISING affect many more farmers beyond the current project intervention sites in Tanzania and the project should scale up its activities.
‘Today I have learnt for the first time about the danger posed by mycotoxins. Whenever I harvest maize, I see some of it having the mycotoxin features, but I never knew that it is poisonous. I would readily give those affected maize cobs to poultry and livestock without knowing that the effects can get back to humans later through livestock and poultry products,’ she said.
Adolf Mushi, a Faida Market Link consultant in Arusha said he was impressed to see Africa RISING taking part and exhibiting in the nane nane agricultural fair.
‘This is the first time I’m seeing a research project take part in this fair; which is a good effort by the project. It conveys a positive message to the farmers and builds their confidence that research projects are working with them to address their challenges,’ he explained.
The nane nane agricultural fair, a public holiday in Tanzania, is held annually on the eighth day of August to celebrate the nation’s farmers. The event recognizes the hard work and contribution they make to the Tanzanian economy. Stakeholders in agriculture showcase their work and innovations towards sustainable agricultural growth and development in the country.