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TARI-Ukiriguru innovates plantation machine

TARI-Ukiriguru innovates plantation machine

TANZANIA Agriculture Research Institute (TARI-Ukiriguru Centre) in Mwanza has innovated farming equipment that will simplify plantation of cotton, sunflower and maize and boost productivity.

Speaking during the innovation week in Dodoma recently, innovator of the farming tool, Mr Robert Alphonce said the equipment will reduce time consumed by farmers as they will spend a maximum of three hours planting an acre compared to the previous 11 hours.

The machine, he said, which was innovated last year, can use oxen and human as workforce. It is meant for small scale farmers.

Mr Alphonce said the machine which has recommended spacing for farming; assures farmers of increased productivity as for a cotton acre they can harvest 1,500 kilogrammes unlike the current 700-kilogrammes.

Such innovation is in line with the country's domestication as Tanzania is among the African countries that have signed Malabo declaration, on implementation of all the National Agriculture Investment Plans (NAIPs) which are under the declaration.

 

Mr Dauson Josephat, who is also an innovator, said they are working on the improvement of the equipment so that it can use motor to increase efficiency.

After successful trial of the equipment, Mr Josephat said they have submitted to the government a proposal for support to get the needed gadgets to come up with a workshop for the service and massive production of the equipment.

He added that by the use of the machine, the workforce which was hired can now be used for other productive economic engagements.

Recently, the African Union Commission (AUC) Director of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Godfrey Bahiigwa, said in the six years of implementation of the Malabo Declaration, Tanzania was among a few countries which had domesticated it since its adoption.

The declaration was adopted in 2014 but its official implementation kicked off in 2015.

The Malabo Declaration signed by African governments in 2014 represented a re-commitment to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) principles and goals adopted earlier in 2003 under the Maputo Declaration.

The country has been implementing the Malabo declaration in the areas of Agriculture First (KILIMO KWANZA) and the Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI) for Zanzibar, the Agricultural Sector Development Strategy (ASDS) and Programme (ASDP) for Mainland Tanzania and the Agricultural Strategic Plan (ASP) for Zanzibar; and Tanzania's agenda to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and various sub-sector policies, strategies and programmes.

Innovation in the agriculture sector is among other issues called for a coordinated approach in implementation of the Malabo Declaration in efforts to end hunger and increase food security in the African continent.

At the meeting, stakeholders including Special Seats Lawmaker, Neema Lugangira, who represented all Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the country, seconded the move by the government in implementing the Malabo declaration, adding that Members of Parliament were at the forefront in pushing for implementation of the declaration.

Moreover, she said, President Samia Suluhu Hassan was fully committed to ensuring that the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture was boosted to meet the requirements of the Malabo Declaration.

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Author: NELLY MTEMA in Dodoma

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