Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation collaborated with Twende Social Innovation Centre, Segal Family Foundation, Obuntu Hub , Anza Growth fund and SIDO to commemorate the Twende Farmers’ Week from 4th – 6th November 2021 at the Arusha Declaration Museum Grounds in Arusha, Tanzania.
Twende Social Innovation Centre had the opportunity to take the initiative of connecting farmers, Agri-tech innovators, agriculture stakeholders and the public, as a response to the call from innovators who needed a platform to showcase their technologies including stakeholders in Arusha and the nearby regions for a start.
The Farmers Week’s inaugural edition was held under the theme “Technology and Innovation for Impact in Agriculture.” with two key goals which were to showcase agricultural innovations and to inspire the adoption of best-case practices across the sector.
The exhibitions were the biggest part of the event which took place throughout the event, from 4th – 6th November 2021. The exhibitions involved 22 various institutions and individual exhibitors who showcased their amazing work in agriculture, varying from hardware technologies, agricultural inputs, farm products and services. The institutions that exhibited include Tanzania Pesticide Research Institute (TPRI), Women Development for Science and Technology (WODSTA), Green Generation, Feed Pro, World Vegetable Centre, Balton – Tanzania, Hans Equipment and Machinery, Imara Tech, Export Trade Group (ETG), ECHO East Africa, Mkulima Mbunifu, Nikumbuke Leo, Tunza Bayanuai, Kisamo.
Farmers’ Week 2021 Edition also featured vibrant panel discussions each having its own unique theme including “the big opportunity in agriculture and the Inclusion of Innovation and Technology for More Impactful growth” and “financing options for start-ups in aagriculture”. The guest speakers, from different private and public organizations, took -participants through a journey of understanding critical issues and getting beneficial information on the available opportunities in agriculture and how technology and innovation can transform the sector.
The Panel sessions raised some key take aways such as, there are a vast opportunities to innovate in the agriculture sector; Start-ups should formalize their operations and reserve business information including financial data to be eligible for funding opportunities that are available through private and government institutions; Having a clear understanding of the business needs is critical for developing a well-defined business plan that can aid access to the available funding opportunities.
The week also entailed Workshops, titled Shamba Darasa (farm class). Two Shamba Darasa’s were conducted as practical skills-building sessions to help the audience learn how to use a certain innovation e.g., a new seed, new farming techniques and a digital platform. The master classes were delivered by Dr. Stanley Msophe from LAM College in rural Katesh under the theme of “I’m proving Poultry Farming and Piggery,” and the second Shamba Darasa sought to sensitise and educate on organic farming, exemplified through the innovation of FeedPro, facilitated by Dr. Samwel Mmbando of FeedPro.
At the closing of the event, there was an award ceremony which the organizers acknowledged the exhibitors, trainers, panelists and all the attendees. The Guest of Honour, Angela Damas Sannda, from JMKF addressed the audience with a brief description of the programs conducted by JMKF and emphasized on the importance of innovation amongst the youth. She went on further and explained about the Youth Day Exposition that took place from the 1st – 3rd September 2021 conducted by the JMKF in collaboration with partners in agriculture including Twende Social Innovation Centre.