Over the past several months, our LandPKS Tanzania Country Coordinator Elifadhili Daniel has been working hard in partnership with the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) to get the word out about LandPKS as a tool for land-use planning and agricultural extension.
For Tanzanian land-use planners, LandPKS has become a valuable decision-making tool. LandPKS is being used by the National Land Use Planning Commission (NLUPC) and the USAID Land Tenure Assistance Project to carry out soil assessments. Since its introduction, the NLUPC has been using the LandPKS Land Capability Classification (LCC) tool to collect soil characteristics data. These data are used to assist in decision making on sustainable land use planning and management in NLUPC project areas. LandPKS has also informed village level land use plans and helped villages formalize land tenure through the Certificate of Customary Right of Occupancy.
Professionals in the agriculture sector in Tanzania have also found how LandPKS can be used as an information resource for agricultural extension. Since October 2018, Daniel has trained over 1,800 individuals including students at agricultural colleges, researchers at the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) and the Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA), nonprofit organizations, and agricultural extension officers in 22 regions across Tanzania. After trainings, agriculture professionals expressed how LandPKS can improve their ability to provide farmers with more accurate recommendations.
Christian Msipolosi-Songea, a District Agricultural and Irrigation Cooperative Officer in the Ruvuma region noted that “the most intriguing feature about this technology is its ability to provide site-specific information on climate and soil characteristics which will enable us to provide accurate advice to our farmers for decision making on choice of crop varieties, use of inputs like agrochemicals and seed types, and how to [help] cope with challenges of our changing environment’’.
Agriculture professionals also pointed out that an increasing number of families have access to smartphones which opens the possibility for extension agents to teach farmers to use LandPKS. LandPKS is available in Swahili, making it possible for farmers to use the app in their own language. Daniel’s trainings have also prepared extension agents to train other agriculture professionals and farmers to use LandPKS. Thanks to ICRAF and Daniel’s efforts for helping us realize our vision of global access to sustainable land management knowledge.