In ensuring Tanzania is self-sufficient with the presence of the best agricultural experts, the government has planned to spend 70 billion shillings to improve the infrastructure of 14 agricultural training colleges (MATI) in the country.
The statement was issued yesterday (14.09.2020) by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Gerald Kusaya during a visit to inspect the performance of Ilonga and TARI Ilonga Agricultural Training Colleges in Kilosa district, Morogoro region.
He noted that the presence of a conducive environment for teaching and learning in agricultural training colleges and centers will enable them to revolutionize access to better technology and agricultural training to facilitate the growth of the agricultural sector.
“In this financial year we plan to spend 70 billion shillings for the renovation of our state agricultural colleges including the provision of enabling teaching infrastructure, teaching materials and the addition of trainers and students” said Kusaya
Kusaya during the working visit identified seven strategies of the ministry of agriculture in ensuring the agricultural sector in the country is productive and contribute to economic growth and increase employment for Tanzanians.
He said the government needs to train young people to become better extension officers who will teach skills as well as better technology in public and private colleges.
The ministry’s first strategy Kusaya said is to ensure it addresses the shortage of 247 trainers required in all 14 government colleges by introducing a program to use agricultural university graduates to do interns to reduce the problem.
Second, the Ministry of Agriculture will establish a database of agricultural training graduates in public and private colleges to find out where the students are and what their job is, so that the government can know how to link them to productive groups through their agricultural professions.
Third, the ministry will establish accreditation centers for agricultural graduates to enable young people to use their education to start practical agricultural business activities so that they can be self-sufficient and help train other young people in rural and urban areas.
The Secretary General noted that the students will be handed over the green house (house haouse) through the management of trainers to produce crops using the knowledge they have received and that these centers will help make more students proficient in crop production and training other farmers.
“The presence of centers will help many farmers to get practical training from young agricultural graduates who will be empowered by the ministry to do agribusiness which will increase employment and productivity in crop production in the country” stressed Kusaya.
Kusaya mentioned the fourth strategy is to ensure that agricultural training colleges provide state-of-the-art technology using the internet which is why at the end of August he handed over 05 computers to all 29 public and private agricultural colleges and that each college will receive 30 computers by the end of the year. this.
“We want to have an e-learning system to connect all colleges using computer equipment and revolutionize the agricultural sector,” Kusaya said.
The fifth strategy of the ministry is to ensure that all colleges use the available land to produce property and teach students through class farms and that the government will provide one tractor to each state agricultural training college to keep the environment friendly and commercially viable.
“For colleges that are involved in the example of rice or wheat production, we will send them tools that are in line with the training they provide to students to increase productivity and productivity and ultimately earn an independent economic income” stressed Kusaya.
Sixth, the ministry of agriculture will provide vehicles for all 14 state agricultural training colleges and distribute three motorcycles to facilitate access to transport and service delivery.
“We have already sent six motorcycles to colleges in Inyara Mbeya, Igurusi Mbeya and Ukirigulu Mwanza each two motorcycles to enable them to carry out their responsibilities. The second phase will involve sending motorcycles to 11 other colleges” stressed Kusaya.
Seventh, the ministry of agriculture is to renovate the infrastructure of agricultural training colleges so that the buildings and teaching materials are modern and help improve teaching.
So far Kusaya said he has visited 12 of the 14 agricultural training colleges since his appointment in March this year where he has realized that there is a great need to make major renovations of agricultural training colleges in the country.
In another development, Kusaya visited and inspected the performance of the TARI Dakawa Agricultural Research Center in Mvomero district and commended the center for increasing the production of quality rice seeds.
“I congratulate TARI Dakawa for increasing the production of quality rice seeds from 75.6 tons in 2015/16 to 93.7 tons in 2019/20 a situation that has helped to increase productivity and rice production in the country” said Kusaya
For his part, the Director General of the Tanzania Research Institute (TARI) Dr. Geofrey Makamilo said the institute continues to focus on ensuring research and access to quality seeds are improved and that they have already received 1.4 billion shillings this year for producing quality palm oil seeds to distribute for farmers.
Dr. Mkamilo also noted that TARI have received 1.76 Billion Shillings in 2020 for producing the best seeds for sisal crops in Tanga region.
“A total of 30.2 hectares of sisal seeds have been grown at the research center. Mlingano and 2.4 million seedlings have been produced and will be distributed to farmers in 17 sisal growing regions in the country,” said Dr. Mkamilo.
Secretary General Kusaya also visited the TARI Ilonga agricultural research center in Kilosa district and witnessed the production of 600,000 quality palm seedlings that will be distributed to farmers in Morogoro region to grow.
He commended the center and called for speeding up the production of high quality Tenera palm oil products to fulfill the directive of Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa to make the country reliant on dependence on imported cooking oil.
“In Tanzania every year we spend 443 billion shillings to import oil abroad while we have land suitable for the cultivation of oil crops such as palm oil, sunflower and peanuts. TARI continue to produce more quality palm seedlings for distribution to farmers ”said Kusaya
Kusaya said the Ministry of Agriculture will continue to ensure financial and equipment requirements such as tractors for agricultural research institutions including access to quality laboratories for each facility for soil health testing and advising farmers are available.
Government Communication Unit
Ministry of Agriculture