The District Commissioner for Mvomero District Hon, Mohamed Utali opened a four (4) days training on Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM)particularly on seeds (Open Pollinated Varieties) and extension servicesat Dakawato 30 smallholder farmers’ members of MVIWATA of Mvomero District, Morogoro region.
The training on SAM is facilitated by Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania – MVIWATA in collaboration with Eastern and Southern Farmers Forum (ESAFF) and Partnership for Social Accountability Alliance (PSA). The training is funded by Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).
Hon. Utali in opening the training urged smallholder farmers to use effectively the opportunity in order to get insights and understanding of their role as citizens in the planning processes and accountability of public funds and projects effected in their villages. “Unfortunately many of us when in trainings like this all we think and care about is subsistence allowances rather than the lessons given” added the District Commissioner (DC).
Trainings to smallholder farmers on SAM are effective way of enhancing social accountability on public expenditures and projects. It helps the community to participate in planning processes of the projects and to be informed on the extent of implementation of the particular project, its challenges and successes. Hon Utali thanked MVIWATA and partners for SAM training referring to it as his favourite kind of training to smallholder farmers in rural areas.
“We have this notion of thinking that we smallholder farmers have nothing to contribute in the planning and monitoring of Village, Ward, District, Region and National funds and projects, but we have to know that we have the biggest responsibility and we are the pillar of all the plans”, said Hon Utali.
Hon Utali said Mvomero District has minimal engagement of smallholder farmers and citizens in the planning process and strategy formulation. “It might be because you are not engaging or you are not engaged in the planning processes. Therefore, this training will help us to know at what stage as smallholder farmers we are supposed to engage in the planning and monitoring processes”, said Hon, Utali.
He further added that “if we formulate plans without your engagement it means we are interfering your role in the planning for your development”.
Ms, Theodora Pius, a training officer at MVIWATA, said trainings on SAM are part of the strategies of MVIWATA to capacitate smallholder farmers in setting their priorities and agenda in the planning processes and budgeting in agriculture sector and other related sectors.
She further added that the 4 days training on SAM will also engage planning officer and agriculture officer both from Mvomero District office to train and exchange with smallholder farmers. Likewise a training and analysis for a government budget and its processes will be effected to the 30 smallholder farmers.
Ms, Irene Liborious from ESAFF said the training on SAM aims to capacitate smallholder farmers in initiating their agendas and priorities in agriculture sector particularly on seeds (Open Pollinated Varieties) and Extension Services, monitoring and accountability in public expenditures.
“This program is implemented in 5 countries namely Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia”, said Ms, Irene.