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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Journos urged to report on agro-development issues

4th April 2012

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives has called on the media to report on agricultural development issues to make farmers, researchers, decision makers and other key players informed of the challenges and achievements registered so far and ensure food security in the country.

This was said on Monday by Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Eng Mbogo Fungakamba at a one-day dialogue between the ministry, researchers and the media in Dar es Salaam.

The dialogue was convened to introduce to the media, a project called “Agriculture Water Solutions” commonly knows as AgWater Solution funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was facilitated by Dr Victor Kongo and Prof Siza Tumbo from Stockholm Environment Institute-Africa Centre and Sokoine University of Agriculture respectively.

The project aims at unlocking the potential of smallholder farming by focusing on agricultural technologies, such as water harvesting and drip irrigation but also necessary supporting institutions, business models and policies.

He said the media had a big role to play in opening up more avenues especially for small-scale farmers and other stakeholders to see, listen, learn and adopt best practices of AgWater Solution.

“The ministry has opened doors and windows to work closely with the media. I, therefore, expect the media to write motivating and balanced news articles, feature stories and documentaries that promote the best practices of the project to enhance the development of agriculture,” he said.

Apart from commending a big role played by the media in information dissemination to the general public, the deputy permanent secretary said his ministry would continue sharing with the media knowledge and experiences gained from the field to unlock the potential of smallholder farming.

For their part, media practitioners welcomed the ministry’s initiative and asked government officials’ willingness to provide information when needed and on time.

The project spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, is in collaboration with researchers, policy makers, investors and it is implemented at international, national and regional levels in five countries in Africa.

The countries are Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso and two states in India, which are Madtrya Paradesh and West Bengal.

Since its inception in 2009, there have been engagements with more than 20,000 partners and stakeholders through a dialogue process to share and fine-tune the results while disseminating the same for maximum impact.

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