Tanzanian Pastoralists Geared for Commercial Farming

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in collaboration with Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) through its financial arm Catalytic Trust Fund (CTF) has conducted a five-day seminar to equip pastoralists with commercial farming skills to foster their social and economic progress in Njombe region.

For quite sometime pastoralists in rural areas have been stagnant in subsistence agriculture that hinders them from overcoming economic hardships. This training session focused on equipping them with the right skills in commercial farming to increase agricultural production.

"The five days training was aiming on how to design a module that will improve their knowledge on producing better milk processing that will add value to their income," says Dr. Rosebud Kurwijila, SAGCOT Chairperson.

Dr. Kurwijila said that the workshop was the fourth one to be conducted in Tanzania under the coordination UNCTAD with keen collaboration with SAGCOT, Catalytic Trust Fund, while the first training workshop was conducted in Tanga region last year.

Dr. Kurwijila added that the entire training workshop focused on how to empower pastoralists and small farmers to abandon subsistence farming methods.

"SAGCOT stimulus fund CTF provides funding to herdsmen through the milk processing factory in Njombe where the basket fund conducted a research to find out the best ways to assist pastoralists to overcome their financial constraints," she said.

In his comments the Executive Secretary of CTF, SAGCOT John Kyaruzi said it was the right time for breeders to alleviate poverty through commercial farming following proper education that they acquired through CTF basket fund.

"Many breeders do well in the process of feeding their animals but they lack proper knowledge in conducting commercial farming while loans are a huge challenges them to," he said. Iluminata Mwenda, Njombe City Council Director said that pastoralists should take the advantage of having such unique knowledge brought to them to champion their efforts in the fight against poverty while the council will expand its tax bases in the region.

Source: East African Business Week.