DAR ES SALAAM: PARTICIPANTS at the ongoing Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) forum at the Julius Nyerere International Conference Center (JNICC) in Dar es Salaam have been impressed with the transformative vision for Tanzanian agriculture.
Managing Director of Kilimo Maendeleo Company based in Msasani, Dar es Salaam, Mr Matthew Ngwahi underscored the vital role of technology in the country’s agricultural sector.
Ngwahi pointed out that 23 per cent of Tanzanians are directly engaged in farming, saying there was an urgent need for innovation and efficiency.
He emphasised that when young people decide to venture into agribusiness and apply ICTs, they can easily impress and attract investors to the sector.
“ICTs offer promising solutions for farmers already in the field, highlighting that agricultural development extends beyond individual farming,” he said.
He said that the significance of digitalised agricultural data cannot be overstated because it plays a crucial role in attracting youth to participate in the farming industry.
“Through ICTs, young people can develop valuable agritech software that benefits the agricultural community and attracts potential investors,” Nghwahi explained.
Notably, Mr Ngwahi challenged the youth to see how they can contribute in the agriculture sector, while displaying ATM cards he designed for his client, Azania Bank to provide easy access to banking services, especially loans to farmers.
He further advised youth to align their innovations with national agendas and policies, while being cost-conscious and developing suitable business models.
The importance of using relevant and appropriate data for informed decision-making in agriculture was also stressed.
During the forum, a participant raised a thought-provoking question about how Tanzania could become the “Ukraine of Africa” in the next five to ten years, alluding to global insecurity and transportation challenges due to the Russia-Ukraine war affecting produce shipment to Africa.
In response, the presenter emphasised the need to shift from subsistence farming to medium and large-scale farming, as well as greater involvement of youth in innovative agricultural initiatives.
The prevailing challenge in Africa, as echoed by the presenter, lies in outdated agricultural models that hinder the continent’s progress. They argued that it was time for a paradigm shift in Tanzania’s agriculture.