Smart Farming in Tanzania
Recent development and dissemination of advanced technological tools at an affordable price have resulted in both large and small-scale farmers having new and more precise tools to produce more with less (Global Opportunity Report, 2016)
These Tools make the farming smarter by producing more with less, lead to increase productivity, profit as well as reduce the use of water, fertilizer and other farm inputs. As the price of inputs rising high, this seems to be a good solution. Smart farming offers high-precision crop control, useful data collection, and automated farming techniques, smart farming includes; Drip irrigation, hydroponic systems, mobile based agricultural information, use of drones for crop management, wireless surveillance for crop management, smart animal feed ( Azolla, Hydroponic fodder etc), smart fish farming (Global Opportunity Report, 2016).
Smart farming is an opportunity for both in urban and rural areas. In urban areas, lack of of land is driving more and more urban farmers to produce food upwards on the side of buildings rather than outwards. Even today, urban agriculture produces 15 to 20 percent of the world's food supply and plays a major role in global food security (Global Opportunity Report, 2016).
There are several smart farming initiatives in Tanzania today. The Economic and Social Research Foundation in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have piloted the precision/smart farming in several districts. The interventions that ESRF and UNDP initiated include:
  • Interactive Mobile Platform – M-KILIMO
  • The Hydroponic System – Fodder
  • The Aquaponic System – Vegetables
  • Azolla- Animal feeds and bio-fertilizer and
  • Cage culture
(Read http://esrf.or.tz/docs/Miradi.pdf for more information about the above interventions.)
Promoting participation of people in smart farming and harnessing their energy and innovation represents an opportunity for increasing agricultural productivity, reducing rural poverty and improving household and national food security. Furthermore as the country is planning to transform its economy to industrial, agriculture remain to be the most important factor for its growth. People in the country can as well find a range of employment opportunities from smart farming that can be profitable and sustainable.
Against this background, this topic is set out to discuss and explore actions, strategies and plans to attract more people to participate into smart farming. Discussants should consider (but not limited to) issues such as;
  • The role of innovations (and technology) in increasing agricultural productivity, reducing rural poverty and attracting more people into agriculture
  • Available opportunities in smart farming for Tanzanians and how can they be harnessed?
  • How can we make smart farming more attractive to people and the youths in particular?
  • Many people are more interested on agribusiness, what can be done to make their dreams come true?
Moderators of this topic are: Dr. Oswald Mashindano, Mr. Abdallah Hassan, Mrs. Margareth Nzuki. .
Tanzania Knowledge Network (TAKNET) Platform is supported by The Government of United Republic of Tanzania, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and coordinated by Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF).

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