CISTI AT SAT: A CURRICULUM REVIEW

Have you ever wondered how a particular curriculum came to existence or how the module went through? Yes, it is a process. A process of collecting data so as a goal can be drafted and a gathering of various potential people to see the goal through and this case a Curriculum for Agricultural Colleges.

SAT, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania. A non-profit organization that spreads the word and practices of sustainable agriculture in Tanzania. Based in Morogoro, they bear the flagship of organic farming and have they farmers trained to adopt the organic farming practices, while helping these farmers place into market the produce they come up with after the harvest.

Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania in collaboration with, 4 experts from Ministry of Agriculture, 2 from NACTE and 36 from agricultural colleges through the CISTI Project have gathered at the FTC in Vianzi, to see through the accomplishment of their common goal, an update of the current curriculum.

Arriving at Vianzi on October the 14th ,the experts went through the comments and information gathered from the practitioners and experts in the agricultural field, based on the demands of the skill set and how these skills are supplied to establish a rapport on how to go through with the whole process of reviewing the curriculum.

A team play in smaller panels and sometimes as one large group, came up with learning outcomes, supporting outcomes and sub supporting outcomes. The sub supporting outcomes are then merged to come up with the modules which are a core of this review.

Looking forward to the curriculum update, these experts would skillfully match the skill set extracted from the modules created to the demand of the job market. In which they would have catered for the skill set that lacked when the old curriculum was used and will have help achieve 50% of the knowledge expansion in the organic agriculture and its practices.

The review of this curriculum is taken as a high-end process that would bring remarkable changes in the agricultural sector in terms of the education provided to the devotees of agriculture and the practical skills instilled in them and having these skills earned cater for the demands in the agricultural field, cooperatives and gender related issues, while securing income and alleviating food insecurity.

The future of agricultural education looks brighter, thanks to the efforts invested by SAT and the CISTI which are funded by Liechtensteinischer Entwicklungsdienst (LED) by 2022 more than 9000 agricultural devotees are expected to be no longer tied up to the outdated practices in the current and modern world.

Health is Wealth: SAT’s mission at Nane Nane

Staying healthy in mind and body is a result of many things. The amount of exercise we do, the genes that have been passed on in our family, frequent medical check-ups and perhaps most importantly what we put in our body. Not only regarding the foods we eat, but also regarding how those foods are made and processed. “Staying healthy is the beginning of everything”, insists Adrian Barnabas, one of SATs facilitators as he stands infront of the very green, very busy and 100% organic showcase, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) has prepared for the annual Nane Nane event.

It is the fifth day of Nane Nane and there is, as always, a steady flow of visitors to the Sustainable Agriculture showcase. Nane Nane is an annual celebration that recognizes the contribution of farmers to the Tanzanian economy. It runs for 8 days, with agricultural exhibitions running in different regions across the country, it all culminates with a national holiday, on the 8th of August. The agricultural sector provides a living to around 80% of Tanzania’s workforce, while accounting for 26.7% of the country’s GDP. A part of this agricultural economy is courtesy of SAT, which is one of the first organic movements in East Africa.

Adrian Barnabas and the rest of the SAT workforce has been preparing the SAT field for the exhibition since late June up until the end of July. Their mission? Spreading awareness around organic agriculture both to farmers as well as to their customers. Adrian is a proud ambassador of agroecological farming methods and their benefits, “We want people to be drawn to our work and spread it across Tanzania and then other countries”, he mentions.

SAT has a variety of different technologies and farming techniques on display at the Nane Nane grounds. These range from techniques making use of demonstration gardens, animals and even stoves. For this year’s exhibition we have introduced the “Jokofu La Asili”, the only technology of its kind available at Nane Nane. The “Jokofu La Asili” acts as a cold room of sorts, using materials easily available to farmers and locals such as burned bricks and sacks to create an eco-friendly “fridge”, which farmers can use to store their produce so that it stays fresh long after harvest.

SAT’s demonstration garden at the Nane Nane grounds country wide welcomed 1020 visitors in Dodoma and 2448 visitors in Morogoro. Professor Mgula from Sokoine University of Agriculture was one of the many visitors in Morogoro, impressed with the work SAT is doing he stressed the need for more farmers to be educated on the importance of Organic Agriculture.

“Many of our farmers are not knowledgeable about the topic and they are not aware of the effects of using pesticide, they just want to kill insects, not thinking about the effects to their customers or even themselves in the long run,” Professor Mgula said.

SAT is a proud member of the Agricultural sector and a proud pioneer of the organic movement in the country. With every person educated on the benefits of organic farming, we believe we can make Tanzania and the world a better place.

You can learn about our farming practices by registering for our Farming Training Courses. Click here for further details.

Participatory Research Design: Bringing farmers and young scientists together

A lecture hall at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) full of young scientists developing ideas for their Bachelor and Master thesis. So far it would be nothing special if it weren´t for a few rather unusual guests: farmers and pastoralists of the Morogoro region. Each year the Workshop for Participatory Research Design connects farmers or pastoralists with young researchers and thus initiates a new cycle of the Farmer Centred Research Programme (FCRP), which emerged a few years ago from the close collaboration of SAT and SUA. Farmers and pastoralists present their current challenges and offer their local knowledge. From there students use their research skills to find solutions for their challenges together with the farmers.

Farmer speaking at Workshop for Participatory Research Design
Shakaile Kolea, a pastoralist from Mkajuni village, speaks about challenges at the Workshop for Participatory Research Design.

The problem of the fall army worms

Martha Makumba, a young woman, is one among eleven bachelor students from SUA who received a grant through the FCRP in 2018/2019 to conduct her research. After farmers expressed their problem of fall army worms being a big obstacle to their productivity in the 5th Workshop for Participatory Research Design, she decided to look further into that issue. Her research had the overall goal to assess the resistance of local maize seed varieties to the invasion of fall army worms and the use of environmentally friendly pesticides as control mechanisms. During the following weeks she observed that the improved seed variety called “Tumbili” performed better compared to farmer managed seeds and that neem powder worked better as an organic pesticide than moringa. Although Martha Makumba recommended to use improved seed varieties one farmer decided to extend the research.

Farmers contribute to research findings

Mwombeck Cleophace is a member of the Tushikamane group in Kimambila village which was formed in 2017 in the course of the Farmers and Pastoralists Collaboration Project. He is also one of the Farmer to Farmer facilitators who pass on their knowledge to other farmers. Mwombeck Cleophace decided to extend the research in his village by visiting ten farms with improved seeds and ten farms with farmer managed seeds. Contrarily to Martha Makumba, he observed that improved seeds were much more affected by fall army worms compared to farmer managed seeds.

And the research goes on…

To us, we can draw two conclusions from this: First, it shows us how engaged and motivated our farmers are beyond our project activities. They can see that this research helps them to create a sustainable and well working agricultural system at their farms. Secondly, it also shows that different research analysis can provide different results. Another sign that we need to invest more time into long-term research to better understand the specifics of the seeds and their resilience towards the fall army worm.

Maize (improved seeds variety) severly affected by fall army worms
Improved seeds variety affected by fall army worm
Maize (farmer managed seeds) not affected by fall army worms
Farmer managed seeds

Everything about pest management using organic methods you can also learn at the SAT Farmer Training Center. The courses of 2020 are online now.

The Farmer Centred Research Programme in collaboration with the Sokoine University of Agriculture is kindly supported by Liechtenstein Development Service. Numerous other organisations finance the grants for the students.

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