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Agricultural training institutes hail execution of CISTI project

by Atlanta Business Journal

The project which commenced in 2020 and expected to be completed later this year, has benefited 29 agricultural training institutes in the country. It has facilitated review and approval of six new training modules for agriculture production on certificate and diploma levels which also saw organic farming being added as a course.

The initiative is implemented collaboratively by the government and the Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT).

JumaDebe, a garden attendant at the Ministry of Agriculture Training Institute–(MATI- Katrin in Ifakara town, Morogoro Region said the project hasn’t only ended reviewing curriculum to incorporate organic farming but also broadened the understanding of staff, students and farmers on the importance of organic farming.

“I am one of the beneficiaries of the implementation of the project because I attended training on organic farming in Morogoro four times, and now I have broader understanding the its importance and i am practicing it here at the college and my home,” Debe said recently when a team from SAT visited the college.

Moses Chavala, tutor at MATI-Ilonga in Kilosa District, Morogoro Region hailed the government and SAT for coming up with the project as apart from helping reduce much of artificial fertilisers and chemicals in farms, it will also help restore soil fertility in many parts of the country.

“For many years, students were learning agriculture in general but they were not getting deep knowledge on organic farming as it was seen as an outdated kind, but it is not true, the farming is currently much paying as many customers globally prefer organic produced products,” he said.

Thanky Mathew, a student at MATI-Ilonga said apart from being taught deeply on organic farming the subject also has a component of climate change which is currently very important.

“Climate change is currently negatively impacting various key areas including agriculture, so as students we need to know how we can overcome the impacts while practicing well farming projects,” she said.

YohannesMsigwa, admission officer at the National Sugar Institute (NSI) based in Kilombero District, Morogoro Region said that the project has transformed their mindsets and many students as well as staff now admire organic farming more than the modern one as they have witnessed themselves in the school’s garden.

“The staff here were the first ones to taste the vegetables which are free from chemicals, from there the garden attendants increased efforts and expanded their plots to produce more products so as to cater the demand in the college as well as serve other customers in the street,” he explained.

AntuseMassawe, programme manager from SAT said the project purpose was to support public and private training institutions to produce graduates who are in line with the need of the country through successfully integrating and implementing organic agriculture, gender, environmental management, cooperatives and communication skills through the new training curriculum for agriculture on certificate and diploma levels.”

With support by Liechtenstein Development Service(LED) and coordinated by the government, the project has helped integrate several areas such as organic agriculture, gender inclusive, environmental management, cooperatives and communication skills that is based on the new training curriculum for agriculture at certificate and diploma levels.

In the past, the vegetable production yield was very poor and sometimes total loss caused by pests and diseases; high usage of synthetic pesticides to control pests and diseases increasing the cost of production and long term effects to workers and consumers,” he said.

 

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