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?
- Cassava & Maize (2016)
- Common bean and potato (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
- CAB International/ ASHC leads on the development on mobile telephony messaging
The partners in this project will work in collaboration with a large number of organizations including the members of the Legume Alliance in Tanzania.
Presentation and working paper
A presentation on the Mobile Landscape Analysis in Tanzania put together by the UPTAKE team can be found here. It contains key findings and constraints to providing Agri VAS, lessons, opportunities and implications for knowledge organizations and is accompanied by a descriptive audio recording. A link to the working paper can also be downloaded.
UPTAKE News links:
- 10 July 2017 blog 1.75 million SMSs push UPTAKE of new technologies Stephanie Gakuo, UPTAKE project manager reflects on the progress and emerging lessons from the project and the recent SMS campaigns
- 5 July 2017 news SMS campaign increases maize seed sales by 20-90% Seed companies in Mbeya, Tanzania, have reported increased sales ranging from 20-90% following an UPTAKE campaign that promoted the use of improved maize seed varieties last season
- 13 June 2017 news UPTAKE of cassava commercialization in Tz UPTAKE partner Farm Radio International (FRI) has produced a new briefing pack for radio stations in Tanzania. It covers post-harvest processing of cassava including the production of chips, high quality cassava flour and starch. It sets out opportunities for greater commercialization of cassava, responding to new regulatory and commercial environment.
- 5 April 2017 blog UPTAKE: Stephanie on scale-up & climate change Stephanie Gakuo project manages the UPTAKE project developing ICT solutions support maize, potato and cassava farmers in Tanzania, she explains how the project is developing…
- 22 March 2017 news Gender and approaches: some indicative information Dannie Romney, ASHC project executive shares her thoughts on gender research undertaken with the support of Legume Alliance partners in Tanzania and currently informing the SMS campaigns in the UPTAKE project
- 21 March 2017 news Tanzanian maize farmers to receive 1 million SMS messages The ASHC UPTAKE project looks at how its SMS campaign is going to scale
- 25 October 2016 news 100,000 SMS messages sent to help farmers in Tanzania