Dodoma hosts first Center of Excellence in Organic Agriculture

Tanzania is working to establish the maiden Center of Excellence for Organic Agriculture, a facility likely to be the first such institution in the East African Region.

To accomplish the project, the Ministry of Agriculture is finalising arrangements to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Swissaid Tanzania, to that effect.

The planned Tanzania Center of Excellence for Organic Agriculture is to be based in the Bihawana parts of the Dodoma Region according to the Head of Legal Services Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture Obadia Kamea.

Kamea revealed the plans during the Annual General Meeting of the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) which took place in Dodoma City.

The event was attended by delegates from agroecology sectors, established farmers and agricultural officers hailing across the country.

“The Ministry has set aside five hectares in the Bihawana area where the center of excellence centre for organic agriculture is to be established,” Kamea maintained.

The facility will be used by the farmers to acquire biological farming skills as well as running a special hub to test and evaluate the country’s performance in adopting environment friendly organic agriculture.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Agriculture is working around the clock to revitalize and rectify several policies, including those pertaining to seeds and other farm inputs.

According to Kamea the government also focuses on identifying and improving the Quality Declared Seeds (QDS) varieties for both conventional and organic farming.

He advised the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement to develop nationwide organic farming platforms to raise awareness on the importance of environmentally friendly farming systems.

“Soon we shall embark on the effective implementation of the National Ecological Organic Agriculture Strategy, an eight-year initiative being coordinated by the Ministry to promote organic agriculture among local farmers and peasants,” Kamea added.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement, Bakari Mongo said TOAM is rolling out a series of strategic plans to ensure that Tanzania becomes an important hub for agroecology in East and Central Africa.

Mongo pointed out that the global population demands organically produced food as health concerns become top agenda in human life and existence worldwide.

“Tanzania should take the advantage of this new development to become one of the world’s top organic food suppliers,” he stated.

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