IITA trains tutors on climate smart agriculture for sustainable food security in Tanzania
IITA-Tanzania, as part of the Building Capacity for Resilient Food Security Project, trained 33 tutors from agricultural training institutes across 14 regions in Tanzania on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) technologies and practices for the various agroecological zones.
The training is part of the project’s objective to build the country’s capacity to effectively respond to the challenges climate change poses to the agriculture sector. The training took place in September in Morogoro, Tanzania.
The objective of the training was to ensure that Tutors are well equipped with necessary CSA knowledge, skills, and practice and in turn ensure that all agricultural extension graduates are knowledgeable in CSA practices and know how to apply them in different regions and production systems.
During the training, participants were taken through CSA terminologies, practices, and technologies; Agroforestry and livestock management; Crop management and irrigation; Agrometeorological and demo plots establishment; Nutrition-sensitive issues; and Gender issues and practices.
Alpha Mtakwa explaining about banana farming and water drainage systems at SUA Model Training Farm.After four days of presentations, discussions, and experience sharing, participants had the opportunity to visit two demonstration sites at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and Nane Nane exhibition grounds in Morogoro to learn and observe different CSA techniques and technologies.
At SUA’s Model Training Farm, some of the technologies and techniques demonstrated include conservation agriculture, drip irrigation, water harvesting, soil management, crop management, and land use.
At the ICRAF site at the Nane Nane exhibition grounds, the tutors learned intercropping of maize and Gliricidia as well as Chololo pits as CSA practices.
“Through the training, we wanted to give tutors knowledge and skills to implement CSA. Their willingness to adopt and use the materials makes us believe that they will be able to transfer knowledge and skills acquired to their students,” said Bahati Maregeri, IITA Assistant Projects Manager.
Participants reflection on the training
Participants were impressed by the field visits where they observed the effectiveness of CSA practices and technologies they learned during the training and promised to teach their students who will in turn educate the farmers for replication to ensure food security.
“The training was very useful because we learned the theory of how different CSA practices work and we also had the opportunity to see them in practice at the two sites we visited,” said Saumu Ali, an Assistant Lecturer at School of Agriculture (SOA) of the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA).
She added that the training increased her knowledge on CSA especially the Chololo pits which to her, is a new practice. “I have also learned a lot about irrigation practices like drip irrigation, dams for storing water, rain water harvest and water holding structures. I will teach my students these practices so that after graduating they will educate farmers how to apply them and be able to produce more crops. We are fortunate that we have demonstration sites in Zanzibar that we can also use for practical purposes.”
Stanslaus Maganga, a Tutor at LITA Mpwapwa, Dodoma Region said the training taught him good animal feeding techniques which could also be useful for environmental conservation.
“In livestock keeping, we have a challenge of shortage of water and grass for feeding animals. But the techniques I learned from this training, like rain water harvesting, free range, paddock grazing, deferred grazing, and using improved variety of pasture seeds could help address these challenges. Students need to know these techniques so that they will impart the knowledge to the pastoralists after graduating. It is also important for pastoralists to know how poor pastoral activities can affect food production and cause malnutrition in the society.”
Participants during group discussions.Building Capacity for Resilient Food Security Project is an initiative of the Government of Tanzania in partnership with USDA, funded by USAID. In the project IITA is working alongside the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to enhance various identified capacities geared towards building agricultural resilience and food security.