Technology Transfer, Training & Advocacy
The technology Transfer, Training & Advocacy research programme of TaCRI plays a crucial role as the mouthpiece for all of TaCRI’s work. The Programme is responsible for communicating the results of the Institute’s output to the coffee industry, in ways that are appropriate and meaningful to its many different groups of stakeholders. The programme another important role is to assist in the promotion and dissemination of appropriate and financially viable technologies to farmers and associated agencies, and the facilitation of two-way linkages between researchers, district extension staff and farmers, by encouraging participatory techniques. The programme has also continued to support the multiplication and mass distribution of improved coffee varieties to farmers, the establishment of new nurseries for the replanting programme, and the developing and delivery of training courses through (Training of Trainers) and farmer group leaders/ farmer promoters, and other partners within the coffee industry.
Technology transfer, training & advocacy are seen as important TaCRI activities if Tanzania is to regain and enhance its reputation for producing large enough volumes of quality coffees. With its head office at Lyamungu, Kilimanjaro Region, TaCRI will serve the whole country through substations at Mbimba in Mbozi District, Ugano in Mbinga District, Mwayaya in Buhigwe District, Maruku in Bukoba District and Sirari in Tarime District. For the past 19 years period since TaCRI inception, TaCRI technologies have been promoted in Manyara, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Lindi and Morogoro regions in the Northern zone; Iringa, Njombe and Ruvuma regions in the Southern zone; Rukwa, Songwe, Katavi and Mbeya regions in the Southern Highlands zone; Kigoma and Kagera in the Western zone; Geita and Mwanza in the Lake zone and Mara region.
Achievements under Technology Transfer, Training & Advocacy
Promotion and dissemination of appropriate and financially viable technologies to farmers and associated agencies: Efforts to promote research results have been taken with good turnover from stakeholders through establishment of on-station and on-farm demonstration plots, conducting farmers open days, participating in agricultural shows, conducting structured and backstopping visits to various stakeholders to provide technical advises and strengthen partnerships with stakeholders and compiling research recommendations in simple language for distribution to coffee growers.
Facilitating effective linkages between researchers, district extension staff, small farmers & estates: TaCRI has been in a forefront to strengthen research extension linkages in all coffee growing districts. This has been achieved through establishing good work relationships with extension services and farmers in 69 coffee growing districts in 18 regions. In these districts, TaCRI has established a network through farmer groups, extension officers, individual farmers and estates to speed up the dissemination of technologies. Provision of training courses and transport facilities such as motor cycles to extension officers and farmer promoters to facilitate smooth dissemination of technologies to coffee growers in the zones has been our top priority, but this depends on the availability of funds from the government or donors.
Initiation and expansion of nurseries producing new cultivars for the replanting programme: TaCRI through result 4 programme is empowering coffee growers to produce their own hybrid seedlings using the cost effective technologies. The programmme has put strong emphasis on implementing innovative, decentralized systems for the accelerated multiplication and distribution of seedlings of the improved hybrid coffee varieties for the necessary massive replanting programme. In each of the zone, primary, secondary and tertiary nurseries have been established to support hybrid seedlings multiplication by clonal, grafting and seed propagation methods. We have built a national capacity to produce 10-15 million hybrid seedlings annually from existing 400 coffee nurseries owned by farmer groups, 9 nurseries owned by district councils and six on-stations TaCRI owned and managed nurseries.
Farmer Training Courses (Village based training): The programme has initiated a training programme (Training of Trainers) in which extension staff and farmer group leaders are equipped with necessary knowledge and skills to disseminate clear extension messages down to grass roots/ coffee growers. Through village based training, TaCRI has been able to empower coffee growers with appropriate technologies related to Coffee Agronomy and Primary Processing and Coffee Profitability in 69 coffee growing districts. Due to increasing demand of seedlings of improved coffee varieties, much efforts have been on strengthening extension services to support multiplication of improved planting materials of the new varieties for replanting programme. Further, the programme is putting strong emphasis on the use of bare foot extension officers/farmer promoters/lead farmers, this approach focuses on training of farmers who later on take the responsibilities of training their fellow farmers. The approach puts grassroots level communities at the centre of technology dissemination and has shown outstanding impacts in terms of technology adoption. However, the method is meant to complement, but not to substitute the existing approach of training extension staff at various levels.
Replanting and/or grafting of coffee with improved cultivars increasing annually: Farmers continued to be trained on stumping and grafting technologies whereby grafting activities have been carried out as a way of converting traditional varieties into improved varieties. The technology seems to be well adopted by farmers as it is cost effective as it would have been by uprooting the whole plant.