Yara Tanzania, one of the country’s leading fertilizer importers, producers and distributors, has launched a special digital innovation dubbed the AfricaConnect Initiative targeting rice farmers across the country.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Anthony Mavunde commended Yara Tanzania for her continuous efforts in developing different digital solutions for farmers and traders.
“Your main activity is the import, manufacture and distribution of fertilizers in the country, but you have gone further by improvising different initiatives that promote farmers,” he said, adding that this complements the efforts government in the implementation of agricultural policy in the country.
The minister called on the country’s rice farmers to embrace the new initiative. “Not all fertilizer companies have similar programs, but Yara has indeed led the way and proven that you are indeed the leaders in promoting zero hunger and new technologies to increase productivity,” said he declared.
His request comes as the majority of farmers today make decisions such as how much fertilizer to apply based on a combination of rough measurements, experience and recommendations. Once an action plan is decided, it is implemented and the results are normally not visible until harvest time.
This results in most farmers ignoring or deliberately turning a blind eye to emerging, highly recommended and adopted agro-technologies. Hence, this realization led Yara to spearhead an appropriate intervention by creating a platform that brings together partners such as Equity Bank, Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Seed Agency (ASA) and Wilmar Tanzania Limited under the initiative. digital “AfricaConnect” that will allow farmers to access finance. , quality inputs and market buyers.
Additionally, the Hon. The Deputy Minister, Mr. Mavunde, called on all agriculture officers at all levels to cooperate with Yara Tanzania in the implementation of this initiative to ensure the success of this and other initiatives. development initiatives.
On his part, Managing Director of Yara Tanzania, Winstone Odhiambo, said Yara’s mission is to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet, which can be achieved through continuous innovation on proper farming techniques. , including digital tools, hence the launch of the AfricaConnect initiative. Farmers will be able to access the platform by registering with Yara Tanzania representatives spread across the rice-growing regions or by calling the toll-free number 0800750188.
He said Yara Tanzania has partnered with Equity Bank, Agriculture Seed Agency (ASA), Corteva Agriscience and Wilmar Tanzania Ltd to help rice farmers. “Through this program, rice farmers will be able to access quick loans, quality agricultural inputs and ready markets for their produce,” he said.
Equity Bank Managing Director Isabella Maganga said the bank will dedicate 30% of its loans to farmers so they can acquire quality agricultural inputs and repay later. She said that through demand, rice farmers will be guaranteed to get agricultural inputs.
The Director General of the Agricultural Seeds Agency (ASA), Dr Sophia Kashege, asserted that the synergies formed between fertilizer companies and seed growers are critical as they aim for the best prospects in the sector. “There is no agriculture without quality fertilizers paired with quality seeds, which is why ASA and Yara are joining forces at this turbulent time.”
Dr. Sophia also explained that looking at the highly degraded African soil, justified by the geographical location of the continent coupled with few initiatives to support soil fertility, the mix of quality fertilizers, seeds and other necessary technologies makes huge sense in this context, with various research suggesting that concerted efforts will help increase yield by up to 300%. She also added that there has been a huge loss of soil nutrients for the East African region with records for nitrogen of 35 kg, phosphorus of 5 kg and potassium of 25. kg per hectare per year.
CORTEVA Agriscience’s Territory Sales Manager, Crop Protection, Cosmas Maganga, praised such a venture, as the organization will commit to the initiative by organizing training and supplying its quality pesticides. , especially the Topshot 60 OD which will remedy long-lasting water recoil. hyacinth inhibiting most rice farmers.
The input company will continue to work with Yara Tanzania in this initiative to improve the lives of rice farmers in the country. He hopes the Yara-led initiative will scale up other agricultural initiatives focused on encouraging sustainable agriculture.
Wilmar Tanzania Country Manager Mr. Sachin Suman said he truly believes the initiative powered by Yara will help change the plight of rice farmers who for a long time have been the most affected by pests, low productivity , low yield, seeds and diseases.
“As Wilmar, we plan to increase our production capacity by 100,000 tons of rice to triple it by next year to 300,000 tons,” says Suman.
According to Mr. Odhiambo, through the AfricaConnect initiative, they plan to reach over 100,000 farmers in all rice-growing regions to increase rice production in line with the country’s food security agenda.
He pointed out that the program will benefit rice farmers by increasing productivity. He affirmed that through this initiative, farmers will be able to maintain high quality standards in order to obtain quality products.
Digital Solutions Manager, Deodath Mtei of Yara Tanzania, said they will start with rice farmers and expand to other farmers as they develop the service.
Yara Tanzania is committed to revolutionizing the lives of farmers, starting with rice farmers, through the AfricaConnect digital platform that will allow them to access finance, quality and reliable inputs and ready-to-use markets. ‘use.
For more information, farmers can visit www.instagram.com/yaratanzania, www.facebook.com/YARATanzania and www.youtube.com/channel/yaratanzania. Africaconnect – “kuunganisha wakulima, kuunganisha wabia na kukuunganisha wewe”.