THE Agricultural stakeholders have underscored the importance of practising Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) among pulse farmers to avert food insecurity in the country.
Pulses are edible seeds such as dried beans, lentils, and chickpeas, of leguminous plants that are cultivated for food.
According to the data unveiled by the Agricultural Markets Development Trust (AMDT), pulses, particularly common beans, is one of the most important crops for food and nutritional security in Tanzania, with the country being among the top five producers of a variety across Africa.
Tanzania produces over 1.3 million metric tonnes (MT) of common beans (2022), with a demand of over 0.74 million MT.
Addressing the media over the weekend in Sumbawanga District, Rukwa Region, when AMDT visited pulse farmers, Extension Officer for Ikuwo General Enterprises, Mr Amos Songolo, underlined that in order to avert food insecurity in the country the farmers should practise CSA.
The Ikuwo General Enterprises engages in pulse farming project which is funded by the AMDT.
He added: “In response to global climate change and food insecurity in the country, the farmers must practice Climate-Smart Agriculture.”
Mr Songolo further noted that the CSA is an approach that helps to guide actions to transform agri-food systems towards green and climate resilient practices.
In particular, he mentioned some of the activities performed by Ikuwo to include providing weather information to farmers through community radio.
Moreover, he noted that Ikuwo collaborates with AMDT to provide training to the farmers on how to conduct the CSA.
“We provide theoretical and practical training to pulse farmers through community radio and meetings about practicing CSA,” he added.
Adding: “Ikuwo has been helping farmers to test soil samples so that they know the type and amount of fertiliser to be applied in the farm.”
For his side, the Extension Officer and facilitator for Ikuwo at Ndalambo village in Songwe, Mr Innocent Bunga, said through the project executed by Ikuwo and AMDT, farmers have been getting training in agribusiness by producing quality crops for a guaranteed market without middle men.
“The response of the farmers since we started the project is very good…before the project we were selling quality seeds and fertilisers to 100 farmers per year but since the start of the project we have received orders from more than 5000 farmers…So far the project has reached out to12,000 farmers in Rukwa and Songwe regions,” he pointed out.
On his part, a pulse farmer and the beneficiary of the project, Mr Osward Mtindya, said that after getting CSA education through the Ikuwo company, he has done productive farming that raised his income.