FAO in Tanzania

Capacity Building Initiative Equips Tanzania's Broiler Farmers for Sustainable Practices

Group photograph of trainees, Guest of Honor and FAO team as it was captured during graduation ceremony. @FAO/Melkizedeck Lumbet

In response to rising concerns over antimicrobial usage in Tanzania's broiler farming systems, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), through its Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) has spearheaded an innovative initiative. With the aim of reducing the industry's reliance on antimicrobials and enhancing biosecurity measures, FAO is planning to support the establishment of Farmer Field Schools (FFS) across selected districts.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a significant threat to global public health, driven in part by the overuse of antimicrobials in agriculture. In Tanzania, the widespread use of antimicrobials in broiler farming has raised alarms about the potential emergence of resistant pathogens and compromised food safety.

Recognizing the urgent need for action, FAO collaborated with local stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategy. Central to this approach is the implementation of FFS, which provide participating farmers with the knowledge and skills to adopt sustainable and bio secured broiler production practices.

The journey towards sustainable broiler farming began with the training of Field School Facilitators (TOF). Over a 21-day period, participants underwent rigorous training at the Tengeru Livestock Training Agency (LITA), in Arumeru district. Led by two Master Farmer Field School Trainers, the TOF focused on equipping facilitators with the necessary skills to guide FFS sessions effectively.

The training covered a range of topics, including the FFS methodology, facilitation skills, and data collection techniques. Additionally, participants were introduced to Behavioral Science approaches to address implementation challenges faced by FFS participants.

On 13 April 2024, the graduation ceremony marked a significant milestone in Tanzania's efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance in broiler farming. Dignitaries, including the Director of Veterinary Services from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, commended FAO for its leadership in promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

With ten trained facilitators poised to lead the broiler FFS initiative, Tanzania is now better equipped to tackle the challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance. The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has pledged to integrate FFS methodology into training curriculums, ensuring the sustainability of the initiative.

As Tanzania prepares to pilot broiler FFS in selected districts, anticipation is high for the positive impact it will have on broiler farming practices. By empowering farmers with the knowledge and skills to adopt sustainable practices and reduce antimicrobial usage, FAO ECTAD is leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future for Tanzania's broiler farming industry.