Agriculture is one of the largest sectors which contribute immensely for the national gross domestic product GDP. Livelihoods of majority of Tanzania rural residents hinge on agricultural activities.
For country to run into economic prosperity through agriculture, immediate and sound investment should be ventured on.
Concerted efforts should be put in place and strategies laid down to provide for viable investment ventures that would exert influence on sector’s growth and value addition.
But, without researches which would provide answers to challenges facing agriculture, the sector might grow minimally. That is why outcry from key players and development partners in the importance of agricultural researches to Government, has been increasing.
Joint force in conducting agricultural researches in diverse cash and subsistence crops is seen as sustainable solution towards food security in African countries including Tanzania.
In an interview with The Citizen, Head of Communication at ANSAF, Mbarwa Kivuyo shared about the importance of agricultural researches.
Concept of Agricultural researches
Agricultural researches are meant to address challenges facing the sector through improving agricultural inputs and tools, controlling pests and related diseases. There are other research’s conducted with an objective of mitigating impacts brought by climate change so as to have an efficient value chain.
Importance of Agricultural researches
Similar to other sectors, researches enable a farmer to understand the nature of his/her farm from which he/she largely grows diverse crops for cash or subsistence purposes.
Not only that, researches help a farmer to plan for production, processing and even sales of agricultural and livestock produce.
It is crystal clear for an emerging economy to make headway, agricultural researches should be a leading strategy.
Researches are believed to be far-sighted guideline that discover marketable opportunities and conundrums to be curbed and hence socio-economic steady growth.
It is through these researches where Government can protect environment for achieving ambitious sustainable development. Optimal use of resources assures country of a sustainable productivity from one generation to the other.
Challenges facing agriculture sector
The fourth phase government under President Jakaya Kikwete, made a decisive resolution to set aside one percent of the government budget to be allocated for research purposes in the country.
Nevertheless, despite that top-end commitment from His Excellency, the amount was inequitable in connection with researches demands.
Our country has number of priorities areas to be addressed, through the annual budget allocation, thus an inequitable-looking percent allocated for researches purposes sometime become void.
For the financial year 2016/2017 the planned budget was Sh29.5 trillion; as there’s an increasing demand for agricultural researches, one-percent allocation will not satisfy the needs.
Government in line with other key players should put much emphasis on agricultural researches. Second, sustainable agriculture education should begin at the grassroots level, namely primary schools, so as to build a society that understand and value agriculture sector.
Further, new agricultural practices has to be under the control of agricultural researches for hundred percent.
Agricultural revolution will not be attained until we invest much on researches. Researches are integral part of sustainable farming and development at large.