THE International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is currently implementing a project to restore and increase the productivity and profitability of key food and oilseed crops to enhance market access for rural women and young farmers in Tanzania.
Dubbed ‘Supporting and Strengthening Community Resilience in Tanzania (SSUCORETA)’ the two –year project is set to support the recovery of priority food crop value chains from the effects of Covid-19, strengthen community resilience, markets and trade development in Tanzania.
The project is funded by the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China through International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The robust initiative is being executed in partnership with the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) and has so far benefited a total of 12,456 farmers in six regions.
During an exclusive interview here, Project Coordinator, Mr Lembris Laizer informed that the move was benefiting the farmers in the six regions of Morogoro, Mwanza, Geita, Manyara, Singida and Dodoma, adding that out of the benefiting farmers, 6,443 are women and 6, 213 men, whereby a total of 162 extensional officers have trained on needed good agronomic practices and application of digital tools to increase crop productivity.
“The project’s core vision is to assist farmers who engage in the cultivation of sunflower, common beans as well as cassava to heighten their production and productivity, as well as attaining profitable value chains,” he unveiled. In the cassava facet, among others, he added, the focus was to assure a network of 10,000 farmers (especially women and youth) access quality cassava seed, boost productivity by at least 30 percent through the application of recommended agricultural practices”.
“Furthermore, the aim to reach a total of 10,000 farmers (50 percent women and 30 percent youth) in six regions access new domestic and international markets for bean, sunflower and cassava products. To achieve this, five business platforms have been formed and 185 business partners have been engaged into three commodity value chains. For instance, Lake Zone region has become the major trading hub for dried cassava chips with at least 66 higher level aggregators trained on improved post-harvest management and marketing linkages and they are supplying the products sourced from smallholder farmers to neighbouring counties of DRC Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda,” he said.