The fieldwork in Tanzania for the postdoc research in the Parasite project is halfway. It has been a very interesting research project so far. Main activities have been conducting fieldwork and developing an analytical framework to study and analyse the innovation capacity of the agricultural system in Tanzania. These activities have been carried out in a parallel fashion. Below I will describe the activities that were undertaken and also a short overview of what still has to be done.
Upon arrival in Tanzania, I did a rapid analysis of how agricultural research, training and extension, and crop protection are organised. From here me and Dr. Juma Kayeke (project member working within the National Agricultural Research System) made a plan to assess different aspects of the crop protection system in different regions/ districts in Tanzania where farmers face problems related to parasitic weeds; Kyela and Morogoro Rural.
In these two districts fieldwork was conducted in June and July. Farmers, researchers, extension staff and representatives of associations private sector, government and NGOs were interviewed (34 in total), Rhamphicarpa and Striga infested fields were visited and we gathered brochures, curricula and policy documents. Most probably similar fieldwork activities will be undertaken in Songea in the coming weeks. In the three districts of Kyela, Morogoro Rural and Songea, socio-economic surveys have been conducted. The survey included questions related to the postdoc research project. Additionally, we are exploring to organise workshops in the three districts to analyse constraints to innovation together with different groups of stakeholders. This is all to take place in the coming two months, and fieldwork in Tanzania is expected to finish by the end of October after which Marc will return to Wageningen for further data analysis and writing.
In addition I have been working on a literature review that examines thinking about agricultural innovation and systems in crop protection literature. Preliminary findings are very interesting, showing the potential for using (different pillars of) the Agricultural Innovation Systems approach in research projects that focus on crop protection.
Please contact Marc Schut if you have questions or feedback on the project.
More information regarding the postdoc project can be found elsewhere on this website. Click here to access the postdoc page.