Eating My Green Empire
We are mostly raised in an environment that teaches us agriculture is our pillar. That is the same story to almost everyone in Tanzania. Kilimo Kwanza in Tanzania was one of the ideologies that aims to transform from analog form to modern form of agriculture. Though the art of Agriculture in Tanzania is not bad in terms of technology and at the same time, it is not well developed. Moreover, we have to agree that agriculture is the mastermind of all the materials we use in our daily activities. Though, there are some areas that do not embrace the importance of agriculture. These areas include the Mara region in Tanzania which is the leading region with children that suffer from malnutrition. Over the past years, malnutrition there was a campaign to end malnutrition which is one of the challenges especially to children under the age of 5 years old (Linly, 2021) Many of the people living in the countryside do agriculture. Arable soil is an essential asset that stimulates the growth of cash and food crops, many crops grow well in Tanzania because of the soil. Some examples of cash and food crops grown include rice, beans, millet, cassava, sorghum, potatoes, sugarcane, coffee, and cocoa. With over $1 billion in profits from commercial crops sales, the agriculture business contributes significantly to the country’s international trade. (Chando, 2021)
i. How is agriculture contributing to the national economy in Tanzania?
Let’s use Tanzania as a case study and this is because it faces 49% of malnutrition cases. The industry accounted for over 28% of the country’s GDP and 24% of economic output, maintaining its agricultural production. These statistics, however, imply that two-thirds of Tanzanians are laboring to create only one-third of the country’s GDP. However, changes in climate and the resultant droughts of these commodities floods, agriculture temperature shocks, and a lack of agricultural equipment are all challenges facing Tanzania’s agriculture industry. These factors wreak havoc on the living conditions of most Tanzanians who work in agriculture, resulting in massive rises in poverty, famine, malnutrition, starvation, and illness rates. In a research made by URT (2009) in the perspective of Kilimo Kwanza in Tanzania, they found that the agriculture sector supplies 95% of the food consumed in the country. Still, economic self is needed at a rate of 120 percent. (Karlsson, 2021)
ii. What are the innovative technologies adopted in Tanzania?
Despite having the world’s most agricultural land and utilizing more than half of the people in the agricultural sector, Tanzania continues to struggle with agricultural production and instability. Modern agriculture can stimulate economic growth, improve food security, and provide employment to millions of rural farmers. Technology services that can handle the various difficulties in the agricultural and food industries have grown in popularity. Organizations headed by the private sector address concerns ranging from industry access to financial services offering. Significant progress and successful business models; however, obstacles remain. (Kane, 2021). Moreover, this is partly due to barriers to mutual learning and knowledge gained among countries and regions in Tanzania. As a result, agricultural interventions have managed to have the broad impact needed to upgrade and change the continent’s agricultural and food industries. Crops and insecticides are in high demand, but supply has been restricted, mainly due to the uncertain origin and reliability of these commodities. Farmers in Tanzania have been forced to purchase fake or reused seeds in the mistaken idea that these are higher-yielding hybrid seeds. However, it is true that Tanzania has wanted to transform to modern agriculture but there are some factors that hinder the transformation, including financial constraints, scarcity of manpower, and Consumer preferences for agricultural sustainability are changing.
A drone at the northern part of Kilimanjaro, spraying insecticides to the coffee plantation. (Sare,2021)
iii. How does modern agriculture boost productivity compared to traditional agriculture?
Agricultural mechanization is one of the ways to improve agriculture by using modern techniques. Some innovators came up with some technological ideas and developed drones, driverless tractors, that help them to sow and water the crops technologically. However, most of the local farmers are not used to this type of technology but a growing number of traditional agriculture enterprises are introducing farm mechanization into their operations. (Arthur, 2021). However, the modern agricultural technique has many benefits like being time-friendly, enough power, and being easy to manage. However, there are disadvantages like shortage of human labor which will decrease the rate of employment, lack of finance does not allow all local farmers to adjust to modern agricultural technology.
iv. Is modern agriculture a friend of environmental protection?
Habitat destruction, habitat adaptation, and landscape segmentation are all environmental consequences of reduced natural vegetation, as changes in the global climate system and local topography, as well as water and soil pollution. The runoff from agricultural land and the reduced variety of crops and livestock generated are two of the key issues in agriculture as a result of reduced land. Every year, over three million hectares of agricultural land in Tanzania are lost owing to soil degradation and erosion, rendering them unsuitable. Mostly especially in the Kilimanjaro region, where in contrast to the early days of agriculture, when farmers farmed a wide variety of crops and reared a wide variety of livestock, there has been a decrease in the range of agricultural and livestock supplied. Therefore, the technology is environmentally friendly, since the harvesters, drones, and automatic water sprayers are just machines. Malnutrition, on the other hand, is highlighted as one of the consequences of a poor agricultural system.
Farm at Kilimanjaro region, showing the importance of agriculture. (Mseja, 2021)
Moreover, Tanzania’s government is working hard to implement new agricultural technologies to strengthen the country’s economy. Since there is an ongoing campaign about malnutrition, it is every citizen’s responsibility to make sure that they work hand in hand to find the solution to this problem. One of the ways is to create awareness for the farmers and the consumers in the rural areas to make the user have the modern skills and knowledge about modern agriculture. Reduction of the use of junk foods is one of the ways to get rid of malnutrition. Starting some organizations special for teaching and providing knowledge to the farmers about the use of modern agricultural mechanization. Hence, these are a few ways to make modern agriculture valuable. Let’s strengthen our economy!
Image: The kid recovered from malnutrition.
Photo Credit: (Mmbaga,2021)
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