Dar es Salaam. The government through the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday identified two areas that it would like to work with stakeholders in a bid to improve farming in the country, while pledging to give its support to Mwananchi Communications Limited’s (MCL) Farm Clinic initiative.
Highlighting the areas, Ministry of Agriculture’s deputy permanent secretary Gerard Mweli said stakeholders, including MCL, should be involved in creating awareness (which is the main objective of the Farm Clinic initiative) to show farmers that agriculture was productive and remains the backbone.
But he also said that stakeholders were required to assist in finding the right technologies in the agriculture spectrum, asserting that the government cannot do everything alone.
“Under this Farm Clinic initiative, we will be at the forefront in cooperating with you, not only in organising these events, but also to use the findings that will result out of them,” he promised.
Opening the meeting that was held at the Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel, MCL managing director Bakari Machumu said the aim of the initiative was to facilitate access to the right information by farmers.
He said that co-operation in the strategy between MCL and other stakeholders was to facilitate access to education for farmers because MCL primarily was a content creator while Vodacom Tanzania (one of the partners) had communication platforms that would enable agricultural information to reach farmers more quickly.
“We alone cannot do it, we are experts in content creation while Vodacom has the avenue to reach the people. The partnership brings us together, create content or news that farmers can use through Vodacom means of communicating,” he said.
He noted that after the launch, the next step would be to roll out the initiative to other regions depending on the advice from the Ministry of Agriculture who were also important partners in achieving better results for all.
Vodacom Tanzania’s managing director Sitholizwe Mdlalose congratulating MCL for all the efforts they have been making through the Mwananchi Thought Leadership Forum (MTLF) saying the initiatives have been very timely leading to many incredible insights.
He noted that the company (Vodacom) took seriously the insights and used them towards building its own contribution in digitizing agriculture.
“We consider this evening a great privilege and an immense joy to be able to partner with MCL in the roll out of your Farm Clinic,” said Mr Mdlalose.
As Vodacom Tanzania, he said they were determined to change people’s lives through technology and to ensure that no one was left behind…
He said Vodacom was involved in agriculture because it understood the importance, not only to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and to food security but also to the livelihoods of all the farmers and the families who depend on them [agriculture employes 70 percent of the country’s workforce].
“We remain fully aware that small holder farmers continue to face multiple challenges and obstacles that ultimately impede their ability to achieve full potential,” he noted.
Mr Mdlalose believes however that: “The challenges can be addressed with the appropriate technology and with strong and clear partnerships such as the one we are launching today (yesterday) with MCL.”