Agricultural Researchers Meet in Morogoro to Discuss Food Security Enhancement

,
Agricultural Researchers Meet in Morogoro to Discuss Food Security Enhancement

Agricultural researchers representing different institutions from Tanzania and the United States are meeting in Morogoro this week to discuss progress on some research activities they are conducting aimed at addressing food insecurity in Tanzania.

The researchers will hold a one-day workshop at the Hilux Hotel on Thursday, January 15, 2015, and their research topics focus on rice productivity, crop nutritive content, conservation agriculture, tomato productivity, drip irrigation, and maize productivity improvement extension. The meeting is organized by the Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative (iAGRI), and funded by the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

According to iAGRI’s Deputy Project Director, Professor Isaac Minde, the workshop is aimed at providing opportunities to the eight research teams to present progress reports pointing to their experiences, constraints and successes in the implementation of the research in the last eighteen months.

“Discussions to be held during this workshop will be of great benefit to the researchers, because through the sharing of successes and challenges encountered so far, they will be able to plan a way forward on how best to continue with their research,” says Prof. Minde, adding that the main purpose of the research is to find ways of helping Tanzania to address the country’s food security challenges.

Workshop participants come from the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), the University of Dar es Salaam, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives headquarters, Agricultural Research Institutes, and other research institutions in the country. On the other hand, researchers from the United States come from the Ohio State University, Virginia Tech, Tuskegee University, University of Florida, and Iowa State University.

Research topics that will be discussed during the workshop, are: Improving Agricultural Productivity and Crop Nutritive Quality through a Gender-Sensitive Approach to Cereal and Vegetable Production in Tanzania; Improvement of Tomato Productivity and Quality in Tanzania through Reduction of Adverse Effects of Biotic and Abiotic Stresses; Integrated Salt Affected Soil Management Options for Sustainable Rice Productivity in Tanzanian Irrigation Schemes; and Agricultural Innovation for Smallholder Farmers through Locally Adapted Conservation Agriculture for Improved Food Security in the Context of Climate Change.

Other topics are: From Soil Elements to Nutrients: Improving Nutrient Content of Foods for Human Consumption via Agriculture; Improved Soil Health and Germplasm to Advance Tomato Production on Tanzania; Promotion of Low-Cost Drip Irrigation Technology for Enhancing Agricultural Productivity and Livelihoods of Small-Scale Farmers in Semi-Arid Areas of Tanzania; and Using the Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) Approach to Improve Maize and Rice Production through Extension Service Delivery in Morogoro and Dodoma, Tanzania.

The Collaborative Research is administered by iAGRI, a USAID-funded Feed the Future project that prepares the next generation of agricultural and nutrition leaders and strengthens and integrates the core institutions of agricultural research, education, and extension in Tanzania.

Ohio State University (OSU) is the managing entity for a consortium of six US universities including Michigan State University, Virginia Tech, Tuskegee University, University of Florida, and Iowa State University. Key partners in Tanzania include the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives (MAFC). The project aims to prepare teachers, researchers and extension practitioners in Tanzania to cooperatively and effectively address needs of smallholder farmers and the growing agribusiness sector and to strengthen the capacity of Tanzania’s leading agricultural teaching and research organizations to find solutions to the country’s food security challenges.