It’s training in aviation, no shortcut to success

Tory Burch an American fashion designer, businesswoman, and philanthropist once said: “We may live in an age of instant messaging, instant gratification and Instagram, but there is no way to short circuit the path to success.”

She recalled that that during the commencement speech while addressing the Babson College graduates in the United States of America (USA) in 2014.

The main point I took from her quote is that there is nothing as overnight success in life! One needs preparation and solid plans for everything and step we want to achieve in our daily lives.

Localising it at home, recently at the end of last month, some 20 youth graduated from drone pilot training at the Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC) in Dar es Salaam with the aim of equipping them with skills to be used in the implementation of a project to strengthen plant health services in Tanzania for enhanced food safety,’ which seeks to address administrative and technical limitations relevant to plant health that deteriorate agricultural trade and endanger food security.

The project was under the Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the European Union (EU), who launched a three-year project to increase access to safe and quality agricultural produce for national and international markets.

The students who undergone the training for seven months at the Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC) in Dar es Salaam were employers of the Tanzania Plant Health and Pesticides Authority (TPHPA) and that of Zanzibar, the training as expected was crucial in addressing challenges in the horticulture sector.

These are the kinds of plans or preparations that unequivocally concur with Ms Tory’s assertion that it is impossible to short-circuit the road to success.

FAO, TPHPA, and the Ministry of Agriculture saw the knowledge gap; the EU increased financial resources; and then CATC made it possible to provide knowledge to beneficiaries.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, TPHPA acting Director General Prof Joseph Ndunguru said that the project also would improve the quality of crops to meet the standards of international markets.

“We now stand a better chance to start exporting crop produce to the potential international markets, and our main focus is to increase our crop export value from currently 1. 2 bn US Dollars annually to at least 5bn US Dollars by 2030,” he said.

He said the project will also address the challenges which exporters were facing including confiscation of exports in foreign markets due to lack of quality and standards.

A study in 2017 by the ministry of agriculture established poor awareness of plant health among local experts and farmers, as well as the absence of laboratories for plant health diagnosis and surveillance facilities.

He said that the mentioned challenges placed the country in an uncomfortable position to export agricultural produce to potential international markets.

Prof Ndunguru further gave an example of 2012 and 2017, where more than two consignments of agriculture products destined to the European Union (EU) market were intercepted for administrative on-compliance and evidence of undesired contaminants.

For her part, FAO Representative in Tanzania Dr Nyabenyi Tipo said that the project aimed at opening a new successful chapter for Tanzania to start exporting key economic cash crops to various destinations in EU countries, among others.

Cedric Merel, Head of Cooperation at EU Delegation in Tanzania said that through the project, Tanzania’s performance and efficiency of phytosanitary will enhance.

He said the project aims to engage governments and donors in plant health activities, including research, outreach, and capacity building for national plant protection organisations to implement the required standards. In addition, the initiative seeks to increase awareness among donors.

This graduation was the conclusion of a seven-month course held from November 14 last year in Dar es Salaam at the CATC located at Terminal I at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA).

Literally, hoping that these graduates play a significant role in bringing about the reform of the agricultural sector, where the sixth phase has invested a large amount in the use of science, technology, and creativity.

Surveying pests is one of the basic functions of the TPHPA.

Therefore, the strengthening of the pesticides survey area by using modern technology such as drones is a very important step towards the identification of pests and controlling them before they enter or spread in the country.

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