Tanzania’s agriculture minister lauds achievements of five-year technology scaling program backstopped by Africa RISING
Hon Prof Adolph Mkenda, Tanzania’s Minister for Agriculture, recently praised the efforts and impact of a five-year technology scaling program in northern Tanzania as having played a significant role in improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
The minister was speaking on 29 November 2021 at an event organized to mark the official end of the Iles de Paix (IDP) program and of three others (BOS+,Rikolto, and Trias) funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation. The programs focused on sustainable agriculture and food systems, environmental conservation and social cohesion. In his comments, minister Mkenda complimented all the partners and actors involved in the programs for their support to the government in addressing challenges in the agriculture sector. ‘These programs have shown the exemplary impact that results when development partners collaborate with the government to improve the agricultural sector and address the numerous challenges farmers face. I believe we shall continue working together.’
Since June 2018, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)-led Africa RISING Project in Tanzania and IDP have collaborated to introduce and scale-up improved agricultural technologies and practices validated through research with farmers in maize-legume production, vegetable production, and post-harvest management.
Representing the Africa RISING Project/IITA at the event, Prof. Mateete Bekunda, the Africa RISING East and Southern Africa Project chief scientist, also lauded the collaborative partnership with IDP as a success and a model worth replicating. In the future, we hope to see more of such collaboration between research and the development agencies/projects,’ noted Prof. Bekunda.
Also speaking during the event, IDP manager for Tanzania, Ayesiga Buberwa, praised all the agricultural research partners under the Africa RISING consortium for bringing knowledge and technologies to support the sustainable intensification of agriculture for the rural farming communities in northern Tanzania. ‘Based on our data, in areas that IDP has been working to scale-up the improved technologies and practices, food security increased from 38% to 78% between 2017 and 2021! This included diversification of households diets, which rose from four to six types of meals,’ she said.