Yara Tanzania to partner with ACAI on dissemination of agronomy advice tools
Yara Tanzania, a subsidiary of the global fertilizer conglomerate Yara International ASA, has agreed to partner with the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) in the dissemination of its cassava agronomy decision support tools (DSTs).
ACAI has been doing research to develop a suite of agronomy advice tools to help improve cassava intensification, productivity, and production targeting smallholder farmers through cassava value chain actors.
ACAI project activities coordinator for East Africa, Veronica NE Uzokwe and ACAI colleagues met with Yara Tanzania Head of Agronomy Mr Peter Assey on 21 May to review potential areas where Yara can intervene specifically for validation and dissemination activities of the ACAI project.
The ACAI team provided Yara with background information on potential areas for engagement with the ACAI project. They highlighted the importance of encouraging cassava growers to use fertilizers for cassava production to increase productivity and household income.
The discussions were a follow up on the initial meeting between the two teams in April in which the partnership was agreed. ACAI project Leader, Pieter Pypers who led the previous meeting said the partnership with Yara is a great opportunity to diversify and tailor the ACAI DSTs to meet the needs of the farmers at the grassroots level. ACAI monitoring and evaluation specialist Theresa Ampadu-Boakye also participated in the discussions.
In a letter expressing interest to be part of the project dissemination activities, Assey said the company will incorporate ACAI recommendations in their short code messaging services.
“We are confident that the project will contribute to strengthening cassava production in Tanzania,” wrote Assey.
The partnership will enhance the reach and impact of the ACAI agronomy advice tools in the areas where Yara already has operation networks beyond the project areas of intervention. ACAI, on the other hand, will provide tailored recommendations for fertilizer blends for specific locations to improve the effectiveness of the fertilizer sold by Yara in Tanzania for cassava growers.
Uzokwe termed the partnership between ACAI and Yara a masterstroke at combining precision research with wide dissemination platforms for the benefit of smallholder farmers.
“We shall achieve the expectations of the cassava growers for site-specific recommendations and promote relevant and appropriate use in cassava farming through this partnership,” said Uzokwe.
ACAI will share with Yara the planned activities for the validation of the DSTs and dissemination of the tools at grassroots level later in the year. Yara will incorporate ACAI DSTs, especially the Fertilizer Recommendation (FR) and Fertilizer Blending (FB) tools.