FARMERS in Kigoma Region have been advised to utilize extension officers through the Kigoma Joint Programme (KJP) to up agriculture production and increase their income and that of the nation.
The KJP is aimed at increasing the income of smallholder farmers in the region by adopting a value chain-centric approach, promoting agricultural investment, and engaging the private sector.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Agriculture Officer, Ms Theresia Massoy made the call today in Kigoma during the exhibition to mark the World Food Day.
“Farmers should adopt new skills, technologies and practices at large to enhance productivity, diversify income sources, and involve smallholder farmers across the entire value chain of prioritised commodities,” said Ms Massoy.
Ms Massoy said farmers who followed the modern farming methods provided through the KJP were able to increase production from 5 bags per hectare to 20-25 bags per hectare.
Ms Massoy said the programme offers a value chain centric approach to address the various bottlenecks in the Maize, Cassava, Beans and livestock production to increase the investment of smallholder farmers, while lowering the risk of the investments and increasing private sector engagement.
“The programme procured and distributed agricultural inputs including tools and equipment, established demonstration plots, and conducted training programmes,” said Ms Massoy.
The programme made a substantial impact, reaching approximately 27,188 beneficiaries which include extension officers and farmers.
In addition, KJP also formalised 448 farmer groups, capacity development for local government staff and lead farmers, increased interest in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), Conservation Agriculture, poultry and goat keeping.
The demonstrations were in line with the distribution of equipment to 40 farmers.
The equipment will help them to get rid of harmful biogas including the destruction of weapons as well as self-study books to increase knowledge.
He also said the programme provided training to groups of 10 people to learn more about fighting against aflatoxin in food crops.
Ms Massoy said the agricultural aspect of the program mainly focused on four districts surrounding the refugee camp at Kibondo, Kasulu Urban and Rural and Kakonko.
She said the programme planned to expand their services in the second phase to other four districts of Buhigwe, Uvinza, Kigoma Town and Rural.
The KJP was a multi-dimensional UN initiative focused on addressing the unique challenges faced by the Kigoma Region in Tanzania.
The program involved 16 UN agencies and targeted six critical themes, which is sustainable energy and environment, youth and women’s economic empowerment, violence against women and children, education with a focus on girls and adolescent girls, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), and agriculture with an emphasis on developing local markets.