The agricultural sector in Tanzania has great potential. One key constraint for small-scale farming households is access to information that would help increase productivity and find markets. There is a vision for Tanzania to became a hub of ICT infrastructure and solutions that enhance socio-economic development in sectors including agriculture.
Upscaling Technologies in Agriculture through Knowledge Extension (UPTAKE) is funded under the New Alliance program ICT Extension Challenge Fund. Funders of this program include: IFAD, USAID, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
UPTAKE will work closely with the Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership (SSTP) which is supported by USAID and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). SSTP is helping the governments Government of Tanzania to strengthen the seed sectors and promote the commercialisation, distribution and adoption of improved seeds and other key technologies.
The project Upscaling Technologies in Agriculture through Knowledge Extension will work use mobile phone and radio technologies to provide information to small-scale farmers on proved agricultural technologies. The target farmers are rural or peri-urban farmers with up to 3 hectare of cultivated land.
The project will also work with community listening group. These are groups who would not otherwise have access to radios, who come together to listen to programs and provide essential feedback on the value of the material broadcast.
There will be four major campaigns over the life of the project working with a minimum of three crops.
How will UPTAKE improve access to information?
UPTAKE is working with partners in the radio and telecoms industry to share agricultural innovations with one million farmers. This approach enhances traditional extension approaches operating in Tanzania. The project is taking proven agricultural technologies and packaging the information into radio campaigns and voice messages and SMS for distribution via mobile phones. It is anticipated that 150,000 farmers will trial or uptake the new technologies promoted.
What else will UPTAKE do?
UPTAKE will support extension officer to incorporate ICT approaches into their service delivery models, through the provision of detailed fact sheets. It will also work with the telecoms and radio industry to develop sustainable models for ICT enhanced information sharing with farmers. UPTAKE will work with partners to ensure that 400,000 women farmers reach the information and 60,000 women farmers adopt new technologies (this is 40% of the total targets).
The project is focused on Tanzania but will work collectively with other grantees in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique and Senegal. The partners will work in ways that are transparent and will share findings and tools developed on this website
How will UPTAKE improve access to inputs?
UPTAKE will work with public and private sector partners to help to facilitate access to agricultural inputs. Before each campaign, the team will work to ensure that farmers can access the recommended technologies.
What are the crops?
- Maize (2016)
- Cassava (2016
- Sorghum (2017)
- Common bean (2017)
Where will UPTAKE operate?
UPTAKE and SSTP will work to identify the priority geographies for each radio campaign. The SMS and voice component will be developed to cover all the major agro-ecological zone of Tanzania.
Farm Radio International lead on the radio aspects
The partners in this project will work in collaboration with a large number of organisations including the members of the Legume Alliance in Tanzania.
- 25 October 2016: 100,000 SMS messages sent to help farmers in Tanzania