Maize is the main food crop of Tanzania averaging 6.7 million metric tons in 2013/2014 seasons. Tanzania is endowed with more than 4.0 million hectares land with suitable climate (medium-high elevation) for the production of specialty maize that commands high prices on the world market. The current average yield per hectare is around 1.6 tons (FAOSTAT, 2015). Tanzania has the capacity to produce 1.3 – 1.5 metric tons per hectare annually if small-scale farmers were to adopt improved farming practices. Maize production has been increasing from year to year due to priority set by the government.
TAMASA in Tanzania
TAMASA activities in Tanzania are implemented by CIMMYT, through its office in Tanzania. After the project was officially launched on February 3, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the first activity to be implemented in Tanzania was the market information.
Knowledge Network and KAP study
The study focusing on knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP), and knowledge exchange among maize sector service providers, was implemented in Karatu district (Arusha region) in Northern Zone and Mbozi district (Mbeya region) in the Southern Highlands Zone. The study aimed to make an inventory of service providers at the local level, and to map their knowledge exchange patterns and relative importance in knowledge provision to farmers.
The KAP focused on farmer and extension linkages. The preliminary findings and implications for TAMASA are:
- Mapping the knowledge infrastructure (actors, their knowledge, and their interconnections) is a key activity in the development of use-cases in all TAMASA target geographies.
- TAMASA’s efforts to build capacity in national programmes to sustain the use cases it will co-develop with partners should be complemented with a focus on developing linkages between (knowledge) service providers (network building and brokerage).
- Given stakeholder’s stress on output market problems and a lack of market information about output markets, TAMASA may need to consider developing output market use case(s), focusing on storage, produce bulking, transport and market price information.
The project trained a number of Uyole staff on how to collect needed data by using ODK software. Staff have been trained on using smart phones software for tracking locations using GPS based apps and taking measurements. In addition, staff were trained on proper protocol of taking soil and maize samples as well as information on socio-economics; similar trainings were conducted for a handful of research staff from Northern and Eastern zones. Before establishing NOTs in SHZ, another training was conducted involving researchers and extension staff from the Districts where NOT were established. The training took the participants through the NOT protocol, GPS essential and use of ODK.
A wide range of stakeholders were consulted during the KNAP study and through visitation to their respective offices by TAMASA researchers at different times. These included government extension, NGOs, research, seed and fertilizer businesses, regulation and policy bodies, as well as other agricultural projects in the country.
TAMASA Tanzania News
In May 2017, a six-day classroom and field-based training event was held at Songea in southern Tanzania, organized by CIMMYT and Michigan State University (MSU) with USDA-ARS New Mexico State University.
The objective of the training was to pre-test and prepare enumerators and supervisors for the 2017 Agronomic Panel Survey (APS) in Tanzania. The APS is a combined household-community-focal plot questionnaire and crop cut and soil sample administered to about 600 households in 25 Districts.