In late November 2020, African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) project conducted a training on the use of AKILIMO Decision Support Tools and the project monitoring and evaluation system to 138 extension agents and community village trade facilitator (CVTF) in Zanzibar to facilitate the dissemination of AKILIMO tools to smallholder cassava growers on the archipelago.
Training on AKILIMO recommendations and the respective effective application to cassava growers has been the priority of the ACAI project to support the intensification of cassava cultivation and productivity in Tanzania. The training program is aimed at building the capacity of the members of the agricultural extension network and the CVTF to train cassava farmers to apply the best agronomic practices by using AKILIMO tools.
ACAI project identified training as one of the best methods to teach farmers and extension officers to disseminate the use and application of AKILIMO agronomy advice in cassava production. ACAI project has been training stakeholders within the cassava value chain in Tanzania who will in turn train extension agents and farmers within their network.
The training in Zanzibar was in form of theory sessions where participants were introduced to AKILIMO paper-based tools, and the ACAI data collection interface to register dissemination events and record feedback from the sessions.
The AKILIMO training package includes covers the site-specific fertilizer recommendations for cassava growing, recommendation for intercropping cassava and sweet potato, applying the best agronomic practices for cassava growing, cassava weed management and the scheduled planting and harvest of cassava to ensure and continued fresh root supply on the market.
The training was organized on the Pemba and Unguja Islands of Zanzibar in collaboration with Zanzibar Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI), Government extension agents, Community Village Trade Facilitator, and Cassava processors.