Members of Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania at Masasi District, Mtwara region on the Southern part of Tanzania gathered to exhibit the farmers’ managed indigenous seeds at Namombwe village, Mchauru ward. Hundreds of farmers and residents of Mchauru attended the exhibition. Mr Titho Stambuli a Mchauru division officer on behalf of District Commissioner honored the exhibition.
Mr Stambuli commended the role of MVIWATA at all levels in mobilizing and organizing smallholder farmers in groups and networks for greater cause collectively. “MVIWATA is key in defending smallholder farmers’ interests in all spheres of life be it on indigenous seeds, land rights, markets and financial services. Congratulations for being firm in your role”, said Mr Stambuli.
Mr Stambuli further urged MVIWATA members to visit government offices in search for solutions to the issues affecting their welfare. He insisted that “government officers especially extension officers, ward and village executives are here to serve your interests. I ask them to provide whatever support you need and my office is open whenever you are in need”.
Smallholder farmers and members of MVIWATA since way back have held a number of interventions in defense of their traditional seeds and knowledge. These interventions includes indigenous seeds exchange, farmers to farmer trainings on seeds and other traditional knowledge and establishment and management of farmers’ demonstration plots on indigenous seeds.
The exhibition was a forum for farmers groups and network to display their indigenous seeds and knowledge and share these seeds with their fellow farmers, so that the can plant in their farms. The exhibition also brought together farmers to discuss organization matters including membership, organizing and networking and lastly discussing on issues at stake like marketing of farmers crops and other services.
Speaking before the participants of the exhibition, MVIWATA Masasi Chairperson, Mr Mmeto acknowledged The District Commissioner for recognizing MVIWATA and attending the event. He said, “We, the members of MVIWATA are thrilled with your attentive and availability whenever we seek your presence and action in matters of smallholder farmers in Masasi District”. Mr Mmeto, further said MVIWATA will continue supporting government agendas that defend the interests of smallholder farmers and it will offer support in all the campaign waged with the same cause.
Conducting exhibitions on indigenous seeds and its exchanges, farmers to farmer trainings on traditional seeds and other traditional knowledge and establishment and management of farmers’ demonstration plots on indigenous seed banks is one of the strategies of MVIWATA that aims to ensure smallholder farmers are in control of their production systems.