Tanzania: NGO Calls for National Agroforestry Policy

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(file photo).

VI Agroforestry Tanzania has appealed to the government to introduce a national agroforestry policy that would curb the effects of Climate Change and promote sustainable farming.

That was stressed by VI Agroforestry Tanzania Acting Manager Thaddeus Mbowe in Musoma, Mara Region at the 2019 Agroforestry Exhibition organised for Lake Zone farmers, adding: "Because of the benefits of agroforestry in curbing climate change, we have decided to start a campaign to advice the government on the importance of having the agroforestry policy."

Besides farmers, the annual exhibition brought together key stakeholders, including government officials, researchers and politicians to showcase the importance of agroforestry farming.

He further said that the campaign to have the agroforestry policy in Tanzania is part of their local initiative that would go regional before becoming a global concern.

Mr Mbowe said VI Agroforestry Tanzania has made significant progress in transforming the lives of farmers in the country through their organisation.

"We started with these famers as families and they are now farmers' organisations. We have changed so much not only by planting trees, but also by strengthening farmers' organisations," added Mr Mbowe, who is also VI Agroforestry Tanzania Deputy Country Manager.

He noted that the scheme has also helped farmers to embark on commercial farming instead of traditional cultivation that was not guaranteeing them profit, but also friendly to the environment.

At Musoma, there is an established Agroforestry Training Centre, where the three-day exhibition took place and was hailed as another significant achievement of the organisation in Tanzania.

This year's exhibition was run with the theme 'Agroforestry Policy for Industrial Development,' and was opened by Director of SMEs in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Dr Consolatha Ishebabi, on behalf of Minister for Industry and Trade Innocent Bashungwa. Dr Ishebabi welcomed the VI Agroforestry initiative and urged all District Councils, where the organisation operates to cooperate under Ministry of Agriculture.

She also asked research institutions to see into that the national agroforestry policy was formulated and adhered to.

"We need to involve our research institutions like Sokoine University and related small research institutions as well as the Ministry of Agriculture, so that we have the best direction as a country," pointed out Dr Ishebabi.

Speaking at the occasion, Musoma District Commissioner (DC), Dr Vicent Anney, urged farmers to apply modern farming methods that would enable them to boost production and increase yields.

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