Agricultural Mechanization Training Program
Tanzania and East Africa have yet to see wide adoption of mechanized technologies for agriculture. One reason for slow adoption of mechanization is a lack of understanding and appreciation of the agronomic benefit that can result from mechanization. Service providers, input suppliers, and equipment dealers struggle to deliver more products or services because they cannot effectively demonstrate how improved agronomic practices realized through mechanization really do impact yield. SUA aims to provide focused training coupled with demonstrations of agronomic improvements to drive demand for products and services and increase productivity.
Current Status – Active
SUA’s Department of Agricultural Engineering and Land Planning (DAELP) is working with John Deere to set up demonstration plots and conduct practical training for selected crops. Their goal is to demonstrate the impacts of improved mechanization. The demonstration will provide a side-by-side comparison of manual techniques with various mechanization techniques (such as tillage only, tillage and planting, tillage planting and weeding, tillage planting spraying weeding and harvesting). Training on best practices will be provided through Farmer’s Field Days and an initial mechanization ‘Boot Camp’, which is planned for November.
Key Actors at SUA
Prof. Sylvester Mpanduji, Head, Department of Agricultural Engineering and Land Planning/ Mechanization Section
Innovation Portfolio Manager Maria Mullei
Start date of the first ‘Conversation that Matters’: March 19, 2015
Stage 1 – Conversations That Matter
Initially, SUA and iAGRI approached John Deer with a proposal for them to donate a tractor to be used in teaching of undergraduate and graduate students at the university. A series of additional conversations ensued, during which the scope of the proposal was expanded. In addition to donating a tractor, John Deer would collaborate with SUA on producing a training curriculum that could be delivered by the university to all interested parties. Though the process of revising the original proposal, SUA, John Deer and iAGRI collaboratively identified objectives for the project and addressed potential challenges.