Vi Agroforestry to get experts from government

By Lake Zone Watch Writer

Government will provide experts to an international organisation, Vi Agroforestry, who will help include the livestock sector in its mixed farming activities.

Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Agnes Meena, gave the promise last week when she inaugurated a three-day 8th Mixed Farming Exhibitions held at the Bweri Mixed Farming Centre in Musoma town.

“It’s of paramount importance to forge cooperation between the government, research and extension services institutions, and companies engaged in livestock, fisheries, agriculture and environment to enable a farmer to reap benefits,” she said.

“We adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the second SDG is about creating a world free of hunger, food security, improving nutrition and having sustainable agriculture, while SDG 13 is about climate change. Sustainable agriculture helps to mitigate the loss of biodiversity,” she added.

She praised Vi Agroforestry for engaging various development stakeholders in the exhibitions, at the same urging other non-governmental organisations to emulate its example.

Speaking at the same venue, Vi Agroforestry Executive Director Charlotta Szczepanowsk said in the past 40 years her organization has changed its strategies from providing free tree seedlings to engaging in actual tree planting.

The strategy, she said, has enabled the organization to plant 156 million trees in East Africa to ensure that many families in the rural areas lead better lives.

“I appeal to leaders in Tanzania and East Africa as a whole to give priority to the implementation of the national strategy for mixed farming. We’ve already launched a campaign on strategies that lay emphasis on mixed farming,” she said.

She added: “Good life for the farmer remains our top priority; let’s unite to defend the national strategy for mixed farming to enable smallholder farmers reap its benefits, protect the environment, mitigate the effects of climate change and fight poverty.”

The mixed farming show was closed by Mara Regional Commissioner Said Mohamed Mtanda who was represented by Rorya District Commissioner, Juma Chikoka.

In his speech that District Commissioner Chikoka read on his behalf, Mtanda directed District Executive Directors in Mara region to formulate strategies of training small-scale farmers on modern farming methods from time to time.

He directed agricultural extension officers to make frequent field visits to educate farmers and to prepare training programmes that unite them under the supervision of directors of the district councils.

Such a procedure, he said, would empower farmers with skills to engage in productive farming for food and cash crops.

The Regional Commissioner used the opportunity to shower praise to Vi Agroforestry for supporting government efforts in raising the status of farmers.

He promised that regional authorities would work on recommendations forwarded by farmers at the exhibitions, including making field visits and availability of farm inputs.

The Mixed Farming Exhibitions were organized by Vi Agroforestry and were held to commemorate 40 years of its establishment.

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