On January 29th , 2016 the EfDT secretariat organized the policy interaction and dissemination workshop that was held at Hazina square, Ministry of Finance, in Dodoma, a capital city of Tanzania which is about 460 km from Dar es Salaam. The workshop was organized to present four research papers and one report falling within Environmental Economics and poverty.
These are; Credit, LPG Stove Adoption and Charcoal Consumption: Evidence from a Randomised Controlled Trial; An Econometric Analysis of Child Mortality in Tanzania: A Cox Proportional Hazard Model; Assessment of Smallholder Agricultural Production Efficiency of Adopters and Non-Adopters of Land Conservation Technologies in Tanzania; Selling now or later, to process or not? The role of risk and time preferences in rice farmers’ decisions. In addition, the audience got an opportunity to discuss a report on the Impact of Sustainable land Management and Conservation Practices on Smallholder Agriculture in Tanzania: A Case Study of Bunda and Ileje Districts.
The workshop was attended by 45 persons from government ministries, department and agencies (MDAs), research Institutions, Non government Organizations and Media. A majority of the participants form a joint team responsible for coordinating the task force for drafting the Tanzania Five-Year Development Plan II (FYDP II). This audience provided a great opportunity for the FYDP II to benefit significantly from the ongoing and presented research findings. Specifically the participants were from the Ministry of Finance and planning, President’s Office-Planning commission, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Policy Research for Development (recognized as REPOA), The East African News paper, The National Environment Management Council (NEMC). Musufini farmers group, and The Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF).
The programme was organized in such a way that the policy makers would get ample chance to contribute their ideas and assimilate the policy issues implicated into those research findings.
Lessons learned from the workshop
The delegates were impressed by the presentations and appreciated the efforts made by EfD Tanzania to make sure that the research findings reach the stakeholders and the policy makers at right time.One delegate made his summary and noted adoption of any technology or intervention, the local adoptability should be considered since the country is not uniform. However, research is a crucial tool for development through provision of evidenced based information. He further highlighted that it is time for the government to consider reviving and empowering important institutions such as farmer’s cooperatives so that they help farmers especially small scale farmers which dominates Tanzania’s agriculture sector. A delegate from National NEMC argue that it is high time now to reinvest to the institution like the Mlingano Soil Science Centre which formally was used by researchers to provide important information on soil characteristics and quality (structure, texture, salinity, pH, NPK ratio etc.). This point was reached in response to a presentation by Mr. Onesmo Selejio on the Assessment of Impact of Unsustainable Land Management and Conservation Practices on Smallholder Agriculture in Tanzania: A Case Study of Bunda and Ileje Districts. In his presentation he highlighted lack of updated data on soil as the biggest challenges faced by farmers which was also supported by policy makers. Another delegate concluded by using the findings from Selejios’ key findings that lack of proper soil analysis lead to agricultural officers to fail to advice farmers on what kind of crops to plant and what kind of fertilizer to use and good timing of the seasons. More of good recommendations were made to all papers and the delegates showed a high interest in such research findings. This was clearly demonstrated by one delegate from Ministry of Finance who is also a member in the FYDP II review team when she made remarks on the LPG presentation. She suggested that it is high time for NEMC to ascertain possibility to scaling up with LPG study and realize the need for the research team that would include local researchers like Dr. Remidius and attain a way to collectively design a larger intervention.
By Salvatory Macha