Dairy farmers of Kilosa and Bagamoyo districts have applauded the philosophy of pass on gift from Heifer International Tanzania and requested the nongovernmental organisation to bring the push-pull technology to their area to improve cereal and livestock productivity in the areas.
Speaking in an interview with The Guardian in Kilosa District, Morogoro Region at the weekend, Juhudi Dairy Farmers chairperson Salum Mgome said they have already undertaken training on how to implement the technology in Kenya where they started the practice more than ten years ago.
“Supported by Heifer International Tanzania we visited Kenya and learned what dairy farmers do, the project is very benefitial to us since in the sense that it uses minimum inputs to enhance sustainable food production in climate change challenged communities,” he said.
He added: “The government has to learn from what Heifer International Tanzania is doing in assisting the rural community with the ‘pass on gift’ philosophy that ensures that farmers get domestic animals.”
Based on this philosophy, he pointed out that in April this year the group received more than 15 dairy cattle 14 of which were heifers and a bull.
“We are planning to pass on gift of heifers in May next year because many of us who received them will already have calves then,” he said.
For his part, Kiwangwa Dairy Farmers in Bagamoyo, Coast Region chairperson Ayubu Mtolo said they also face the problem of pastures for their cattle hence they would need support from their partners in form of new technology which they believe could assists them to get enough pastures.
He also said that life of most of the people in rural areas is not good hence if the dairy cattle were provided, they could improve their lives through milk sales.
“Many people need this project because it would assist to improve their livelihoods. We urged the development partners and the government to help harness people’s efforts to ensure that this project is implemented,” he said.
For his part, Heifer International Tanzania official Dr Zenga Mikomangwa said their organisation is facing shortage of funds to runs many projects.
He promised that they would increase the number of people who are in need of the project if they got more funds.
“There are many people as you said here who need out support in order to improve their livelihoods, but if we happen to get funds, we promise to take the project to them so that to help change their lives,” he said.
Dr Zengo also said that Heifer plans to bring the ‘push-pull’ technology to dairy cattle farmers in Kilosa and Bagamoyo so as to assists them end hunger and poverty in the areas.
‘Push-pull’ is a novel cropping system developed by ICIPE and partners for integrated soil, pest and weed management in cereal-based farming systems.
It involves attracting insect and pests (stem borers) with trap plants (pull) while driving them away from the main crop using a repellent intercrop (push).
The action will adapt and ensure sustainability of a currently successful push-pull system of cereal-livestock farming to the increasingly dry and hot conditions associated with climate change.