IITA wins top exhibitor award with research innovations and technologies at TARI-Kibaha farmers’ day
IITA’s innovative technologies that address challenges facing smallholder farmers in Tanzania impressed participants at a Farmers’ Day organized by the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI)-Kibaha on 31 May.
IITA participated at the event, showcasing some of its research innovations and technologies, and came in as the top exhibitor and the second in financially supporting the event.
The technologies exhibited by IITA included Aflasafe, a natural product to control aflatoxin; NURU, a smartphone app that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to diagnose crop pests and diseases; and legume inoculants and value-added products by IITA-Tanzania Youth Agripreneurs (ITYA).
Among those who praised IITA’s work was the event’s guest of honor, Hon. Mrs Assumpter Nshunju Mshama, Kibaha District Commissioner. She appreciated the work by research institutions including IITA in supporting the development of the Tanzanian agriculture sector, one of the pillars of the country’s economic development. She particularly singled out the NURU app and ITYA as great initiatives for addressing challenges in the sector.
She noted that youth unemployment was one of the pressing challenges in the country and that their involvement in agriculture was one of the sustainable solutions. “Youth should realize the potentials and such opportunities in agriculture and make use of them to create their own employment,” she said.
However, she said that these technologies were still not well-known and used and urged research institutions to make extra efforts in disseminating their research findings and technologies to make sure they reach the targeted beneficiaries.
The event brought together TARI research centers and partners such as IITA to share the findings and outputs of their research with various stakeholders in the agricultural sector value chains including farmers, farmers’ associations, NGOs, and the private sector. The IITA team was led by the Eastern African Hub Director, Victor Manyong and IITA senior Agronomist Frederick Baijukya. The IITA Youth Agriprenures also exhibited and sold their products.