Small-scale farmers role vital in realising food security, Mayor says

ARUSHA City Mayor, Mr Maximilian Iranghe, has underscored the significant role played by small-scale farmers in developing a sustainable and safe food system.

Speaking at the opening of the Arusha Collaborators for Agroecology Forum (ACAF) at midweek, the City Mayor emphasised the need to involve small-scale farmers in training programmes aimed at supporting a resilient and safe food system.

He highlighted that small-scale farmers practice sustainable agriculture without the use of harmful pesticides, making their contribution crucial in safeguarding the sustainability of the food system.

“It is crucial to recognise the contribution of small-scale farmers in protecting the sustainable food system, as they practice sustainable agriculture without the use of pesticides,” he observed.

Mr Iranghe further drew attention to the adverse effects of climate change on rainfall patterns, resulting in inadequate food production. He equally, urged farmers to establish water conservation systems to ensure continuous food production during periods without rainfall.

“Farmers need to create water storage systems to sustain agriculture during dry periods,” he said.

For her part, Ms Ayesiga Buberwa, from the Islands of Peace (IDP), said the Belgian non-governmental organisation, has a workshop for stakeholders in ecological farming in the northern region, to educate them on ecological methods that can enhance the food system.

According to Ms Buberwa, the workshop aims to educate participants on ecologically friendly methods that can enhance the food system.  She further emphasised the significance of continuous learning in addressing food security concerns.

“Learning is an integral part of our daily lives as human beings, empowering us to advocate for food security,” she said.

Ms Buberwa called on agricultural research institutions to collaborate in promoting food system security, while expressing her wish for research institutions to join forces in advancing a sustainable food system, considering the abundant resources available.

“We have numerous research institutions, and I wish we could join hands to advance a sustainable food system,” she said.

Initiated by ECHO East Africa in the early 2000s and formally established in 2016, ACAF serves as a platform for stakeholders in ecological agriculture.  It facilitates the exchange of experiences, ideas, and connections between farmers and buyers.

ACAF holds three meetings annually, with the previous conference focused on ecological pest management.

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