Knowledge Sharing Critical to Sustainable and Transformative Agriculture

CCARDESA, through the EU funded CAADP-XP4 project, held a national training workshop from 28th to 31st March 2022 at the Peacock Hotel in Dar es salaam, Tanzania. The primary purpose of the meeting was to familiarize key Officers from relevant Institutions, including the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI), Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI), Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute(TAFIRI), Tanzania Forestry Research Institute(TAFORI), Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Ministries of Livestock and fisheries (MLF), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA), and the media to Knowledge management, Data capture guidelines and monitoring and disseminating information on the Malabo commitments.

The workshop also endeavoured to create awareness about CCARDESA themes and its programmes. Furthermore, the workshop sought to support the media understand how best Tanzania could meet its targets in reporting the Malabo commitments by disseminating information  on the same in non-technical user-friendly formats.

Dr Joseph Nduguru officially opened the meeting and applauded CCARDESA’s efforts in building the capacity of the Tanzania stakeholders and ICKM focal persons of SADC countries on Knowledge Management, data capture guidelines and Malabo Commitments. Dr Ndunguru noted that tied to the workshop’s goals; participants will identify options to move forward at the national level to mainstream food and agriculture and ensure the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of the Malabo Declaration implementation. He said that this could only be achieved through a transformative change that must be done in a more integrated way, across sectors and varying stakeholder interests. He emphasized that monitoring, partnerships and financing are key aspects of the implementation process. 

On behalf of the Executive Director (ED), Dr Cliff Sibusiso Dlamini of the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development in Southern Africa (CCARDESA), Ms Futhi Magagula, the CAADP-XP4 Programme Officer, thanked the government of the Republic of Tanzania through Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) for hosting this important workshop. Ms Magagula commended Tanzania for being the first country to initiate the implementation of the ICKM national plan that was developed during the regional training of CCARDESA ICKM Focal Points. She stated that, “this shows that Tanzania takes knowledge management and the Malabo Commitments seriously”. She went on to say that CCARDESA considers knowledge brokerage critical to ensure evidence-based policy decision making within the agricultural sector in the region. To substantiate this, knowledge management is one of the CCARDESA’s thematic areas and CAADP-XP4 project Output areas.   Ms Futhi Magagula also gave an overview of CCARDESA and the CAADP-XP4 project, noting the project’s anchor on the CAADP framework and CCARDESA’s Strategic framework.

Dr Richard Kasuga, the Knowledge Management Manager for TARI and CCARDESA ICKM Focal Point, gave his keynote address. He noted knowledge management as vital if at all research is to contribute effectively to addressing the agricultural challenges for food and nutrition security, increasing economic well-being and improving the livelihoods of the local people. Dr Kasuga set the scene by asking why is ICKM important and why does it matter to all of us? The key to responding to this question was understanding what data, information, and knowledge meant? This was further elaborated in his detailed presentation.

Mrs Bridget Kakuwa-Kasongamulilo, the ICKM officer for the CAADP-XP4 Programme, presented the CCARDESA ICKM strategy. She intimated that Information, Communication and Knowledge Management is CCARDESA’s 5th thematic area, also outlined in the Medium-Term Operation Plan (MTOP). The thematic area’s primary goal is to ensure access to knowledge and information through various ICT technologies, traditional and electronic media for researchers, extension agents, farmers and the SADC region. She also outlined the functions of the CCARDESA Mobile App and took the participants through a physical application demonstration.

Mr Martin Muchero, an International Consultant and expert in agriculture and the CAADP framework, and Malabo Commitments reporting process, took the participants through the overview of the Malabo Declaration Commitments; their alignment between the Malabo Declaration and SADC Strategic Frameworks, Including the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy (RAP) and the SADC Regional Agricultural Investment Plan (RAIP); the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030; SADC Protocols and the SADC Agricultural Development Fund (ADF); the M&E Reporting on the Malabo and its indicators; and the status of Malabo Commitments in Southern and Eastern Africa.

Ms Vidah Mahava, CCARDESA ICKM Focal point for Tanzania, also a Senior Agriculture Researcher at TARI, presented the Tanzania Knowledge Management strategy where she highlighted its implementation plan. She also shared the Tanzania action plan that is under implementation, which guided the participants on how to develop their action plans  to support information dissemination on the achievements on the Malabo commitments and CCARDESA Strategic Plan Themes. The action plan included timelines and targets and a monitoring framework that the CCARDESA ICKM focal point persons would follow.

Mr Benajmin Abugri the Knowledge Management, Learning & Communications Lead Specialist at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), facilitated on Knowledge Management at the continental level and how it can transform Africa. He also officiated in establishing a Community of Practice in Knowledge Management in the agriculture sector in Tanzania. The participants selected three interim Community of Practice executives who will develop a charter that will govern the Community of Practice’s operations.

Dr Hildellita Msita, the Centre Manager for TARI Kibaha, gave the closing remarks. She acknowledged the participants’ action plans that identified various knowledge products that will be developed to promote work on the Malabo commitments and CCARDESA themes in Tanzania. She encouraged all the participants to make an effort to walk the talk so that Tanzania moves one step ahead, emphasizing that knowledge gaps identified during the workshop be promptly addressed  with the available knowledge products. Regarding the CCARDESA Mobile App, Dr Msita  urged that the tool be promoted so that it can be used widely in Tanzania to better technology transfer to all Tanzanians. Dr Msita thanked CCARDESA and FARA for all the support rendered to make this workshop a reality. She also thanked all the institutions which saw the importance of sending a representatives to attend the workshop. She expressed great gratitude towards the resource persons and hoped that they had enjoyed the Tanzania hospitality. She wished everyone safe travels back to their respective places and declared the workshop  officially closed.

The meeting ended with participants fully aware of essential knowledge management, Malabo commitments and CCARDESA themes. The training workshop was held under the auspices of the CAADP-XP4 Project, funded by the European Union and administered through the  International Fund for Agricultural Development.

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