Butiama district in acute shortage of extension officers

12Jan 2019
Beatrice Philemon
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Butiama district in acute shortage of extension officers

OVER 12,300 small-scale farmers in Butuguri ward in Butiama district, Mara region, will not benefit from their agro products due to lack of extension officers.

There is also lack of means of transport, an enabling tool to ensure that farmers are reached in their fields.




Butuguri ward agricultural extension officer in Butiama district, Alex Neligwa, told the Guardian yesterday that farmers in the district are struggling to access extension services.


Butuguri ward has four villages in which there are 12,300 small-scale farmers.


“Farmers conduct their farming activities without the support of extension officers,” he said.


“As extension officers, we experience a lack of poor working environment due to lack of working tools and this also prevents us from helping farmers on how to control the Fall Armyworm invasion,” he said.


He said many extension officers in the district have to walk long distances from, 5-20 kilometres, to provide services to farmers.


“Farmers need to get income from their products but also ensure that they pay taxes,” he said.


He said the challenge farmers face right now is how to get access to markets and have access to their farms.


According to him, farmers also need to discuss matters affecting them in their farming activities and be helped to gain a clearer insight into their problems and discuss how to overcome them.


He said the ministry of agriculture needed to help farmers to ensure they do not have to walk long distances to meet with extension officers.


“The ministry also needs to provide training to extension officers on crop diseases affecting farmers,” he said.



Paulo Kamwamu, a farmer from Kisamwene village in Butiama district, called on the ministry of agriculture to create a good environment for extension officers to enable them reach more farmers.