Awareness and Application of Existing Agroecological Practices by Small Holder Farmers in Mvomero and Masasi Districts-Tanzania

  •  John Constantine    
  •  Kallunde P. Sibuga    
  •  Mawazo J. Shitindi    
  •  Angelika Hilberk    


A survey study was conducted to assess the level of awareness and application of existing agro-ecological practices by small holder farmers in Mvomero and Masasi districts in Tanzania. The selection of farmers to interview and the villages in the respective districts was based on their long history of producing cassava and maize. A structured questionnaire was used to identify the type of agro-ecological practices, agricultural information sources accessed by farmers, training on agro-ecological practices, type of crops grown in the study areas and kind of livestock kept. Results indicated that the most applied agro-ecological practices were diversification (80.5%), the use of farmer saved seeds (78.2%) followed by intercropping (72.9%) and lastly, agro-forestry (3.2%). The highest percentage of farmers (30.4%) reported to receive information on ecological organic agriculture from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) (SAT, SWISS AID), 27.5% were using own farming experience, 21% reported to receive the information from government extension officers, 13% from friends or neighbours, 4.3% from government institutions (SUA, Agricultural Training Institutes) and 3.6% received information from agricultural input suppliers. Generally, 50% of farmers had received training on agroecological practices indicating the level of awareness. Lack of knowledge among farmers was one of the key factors that hamper the wide application of agroecological practices. There was a need for farmer’s capacity building through training to enhance wider application of agroecological practices hence progressive agricultural production increase.

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