TTCL and TPRI in innovative digital verification solution of pesticide

26Feb 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
TTCL and TPRI in innovative digital verification solution of pesticide

​​​​​​​THE Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTCL) and Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI) have signed an agreement for the launch of an innovative digital verification solution of pesticide known as T-Hakiki.

T-Hakiki platform is using technology to reimagine agriculture in Tanzania by providing accessible, scalable solution for smallholder famers whilst bundling verification with the inputs farmers already use, in this case pesticides.

Speaking to the reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday on the occasion of signing the agreement, TTCL Acting Executive Director, Kezia Katamboi said that T- Hakiki will significantly impact digitization of agriculture and safeguard the lives of many farmers whilst driving financial inclusion efforts in Tanzania.

She said in an ongoing efforts to support government efforts on towards agriculture, TTCL Corporation in partnership with Quincewood Group Limited has come up with the solution to farmers know as T-Hakiki services

“Two-thirds of Tanzania's population work in agriculture making it the backbone of our economy, with small scale farmers dominating the food production. High demand for pesticides has attracted unscrupulous traders selling counterfeit pesticides.

“Counterfeiting in Africa’s agricultural input sector takes multiple forms- from imitation branding and packaging to partially diluted or entirely fake products.

“There have been many incidences of fake/counterfeit pesticides in the country. About 40% of agro-inputs (seeds, fertilizers and pesticides) in Tanzania are reported to be counterfeits. (International Journal of Computer Applications: Combating Fake Agro-Inputs Products in Tanzania using Mobile Phones, July 2014),” she said

The Director General of TPRI, Dr Margaret Mollel added that method coupled with other good agronomic practices is expected to increase farmers’ productivity and incomes, as they will be de-risked from fake/counterfeit seeds/inputs/fertilizers.

“Our goal is to provide farmers a choice of reliable, affordable high quality pesticides they can trust so through the sale of genuine pesticides using T-Hakiki e-verification system, farmers' interests are protected by safeguarding crop yields.

“The sale of counterfeit agricultural inputs  has far-reaching socio-economic consequences. More and more children will now be able to complete their schooling because farmers whose sole source of income based on crop yields will be able to pay their children’s school fees,” she said.

However she added that the farmer will verify pesticide by dialling USSD code *148*52#.

“Enter verification serial number, dial Ok, then receive the verification notification. T-Hakiki is available to ALL Mobile Network Operators and the service will be FREE of charge to farmers,” she said.

In addition, Quincewood's Director of Business which oversees the digital electronic pesticide system, Fatma Fernandes said that T-Hakiki will revolutionize agriculture sector and improve food security hence increase incomes of smallholder farmers and reduce the prevalence of counterfeit/adulterated agricultural inputs in Tanzania.