Celebrating pulses in Tanzania

On December 5 and 6, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Tanzania organized a series of events in Arusha and Dar es Salaam to mark the International Year of Pulses (IYP) 2016.

The activities provided a platform for raising awareness, stimulating dialogue and enhancing discussions on the importance of pulses for smallholder farmers and the country. They acted as a springboard for various key players to initiate interventions in order to boost the role of pulses in nutrition security, including the implementation of the Value Chain Roadmap for Pulses 2016-2020.

The discussions, which involved the Government, the private sector and producers, provided a forum for the identification of opportunities, challenges and practical solutions for export purposes as well as the promotion of production and consumption of pulses in the country. The events included a courtesy meeting with the Arusha regional leadership and field visits to Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), National Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA), Beula Seed Company Limited as well as interactive meetings with small holder farmers of Kikatiti area in the out-skirts of Arusha city.

All activities culminated into a full day national stakeholders’ workshop held in Dar es Salaam. Around a hundred key stakeholders and partners in the pulses sector from the country were brought together, including researchers, agronomists/breeders, government officials, traders, farmers, academia, development partners and FAO officers.

The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MALF), Dr. Charles Tizeba, presided over the visit at SARI, while his Permanent Secretary, Dr. Florens Timbuka officially opened the stakeholders’ workshop in Dar es Salaam. FAO Special Ambassador for the IYP for Africa, Elizabeth Mpofu, accompanied FAO Tanzania Country Representative Fred Ka-feero during the various activities.

All events included an exhibition of different pulse seeds varieties grown in the country for local consumption and export. Invited guests and the public also had the opportunity to taste various pulses’ recipes, exemplifying the efforts of promoting consumption throughout the country.