Tractor Training and Research Program (TTARP)
The TTARP is co-sponsored by the Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative (iAGRI), Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), and John Deere. The TTARP is aimed at improving practical knowledge of students, farmers, and contractors in Tanzania by increasing agricultural production through mechanization. TTARP’s objective is to promote training, mentoring, incubation, and innovation amongst the youth (particularly students and the rural youth) and link them with farmers as contractor service providers. Components of TTARP are:
- Training: The curriculum of the TTARP has been developed by John Deere and adapted to Tanzanian conditions by SUA instructors to ensure “local ownership” of the program. By taking a “Training of Trainers” (ToT) approach, the cohorts of participants will be able to become instructors in subsequent rounds of practical training. By the third boot camp, participants will be able to conduct the introductory training sessions.
- Mentoring: The boot camp participants are mentored by instructors and John Deere staff. The trainees will then go to communities and become mentors themselves. Standards will be set for the skills to be obtained through mentoring.
- Research: TTARP will enable research on constraints being faced by farmers.
- Incubation: Trainees participate in a skills lab and an assessment center.
- Innovation: Processes and products are initiated.
During the first Boot Camp held from 2-9th April, 2016, 110 SUA participants (including 90 SUA students and youth) applied for training. 60 participants were selected for Boot camp, 50 trainees were trained in project management and sales in addition to a one day workshop for those who did not qualify for the first cohort of the Boot Camp.