THE Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) plans to launch an agriculture technology hub that will facilitate access to agriculture services closer to farmers.
TARI Makutupora Centre Director, Dr Cornel Massawe said in an interview with the Daily News the hub will help farmers to access varieties of agricultural seeds and services in the one stop centre.
“This hub will provide services throughout the year and we will have a wide variety of crops which are doing well in the central zone,” he said.
Dr Massawe added the aim is to allow farmers to get the best seeds researched by TARI and other services instead of waiting for wakulima day ‘nane nane’ which is done once a year.
Dr Massawe said the hub will offer among other seeds, training of extension officers, farmers and other stakeholders and different technologies along the value chain throughout the year.
He said the hub, which will be at Nzuguni, famously known as nane nane in Dodoma, is expected to be launched next week. He said Minister of Agriculture Prof Adolf Mkenda will grace the event.
The centre will receive stakeholders’ challenges in the value chain of the products grown there and seek appropriate solutions including mentoring and training.
On her part, TARI Technology, dissemination, commercialization and partnership Manager, Margaret Mchomvu said the hub will demonstrate and disseminate improved seeds technologies, good agricultural practice processing and value addition technologies of different crops.
She said the aim of having a hub is to help farmers avoid seed problems and all other agricultural-related services.
"We strive to deliver technology to every district in collaboration with district supply officers. The goal is to make traditional farming more productive, especially commercial,” said Mchomvu.
She said TARI were there to supply technology to create a demand.
She said that the opening of the Nzuguni hub is a continuation of the hub after the opening of three more in Baridi Simiyu, Tabora and Morogoro.
"Our Hubs in Nyakabimbi Baridi, Mwl Julius Nyerere Morogoro and Fatma Mwase in Tabora have been a great response to farmers who love to learn our technologies so we will continue to launch more to reach all Tanzanians," said Mchomvu.
She said most Tanzanian farmers were engaged in subsistence farming rather than commercial farming so TARI will ensure education has reached farmers to rural areas to know the value chain of the crops they grow.
She said 65 per cent of Tanzania industries were based on agriculture raw materials so farmers had to focus on productive agriculture.
Robert Julius, a Dodoma farmer said he was getting seeds in different places and also consuming time to seek seeds in various places but if TARI will set up a centre where the seeds of different crops growing in Dodoma are available will have helped the farmers.
TARI works to generate and promote the application of knowledge, innovation and agricultural technologies and catalyst of change in achieving agricultural productivity, food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and economic growth involving stakeholders in the nation and globally.