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Two groups of Teagasc experts visited Tanzania following a visit to Ireland by the Prime Minister Mizengo Peter Pinda Kayanza to Ireland in 2009. During this visit, the Prime Minister and his Tanzanian delegation had the opportunity to visit Teagasc where they were introduced to the Teagasc innovation model for support of the agri-food industry in Ireland. The visits of the Teagasc teams were sponsored by the Irish Aid office in Dar es Salaam and the terms of reference were agreed with Irish Aid, Tanzanian Government Officials and Teagasc. The focus of the visits to Tanzania were to assess the extent to which lessons from Ireland’s agriculture innovation model in Teagasc could apply to the Tanzanian knowledge management system.

At the request of the Tanzanian Government, the second team focused on three areas in particular:

  1. Strengthening of Research: Assess the on-going policy and institutional reforms in Tanzania and identify how appropriate lessons from the Teagasc model could assist in developing demand driven innovation (farmer/client oriented research).
  2. Strengthen linkages between research, extension and training: Using the existing ward resource model, design pilot interventions to strengthen links between research, extension and training so as to facilitate and improve adoption of research findings and innovation by farmers. This approach will include facilitating a multidisciplinary approach, pooling skills and equipping ward teams, maximising use of existing technology and new technology, and strengthening links between research, extension services and training.
  3. Enhancing Education and Training for extension workers and farmers: Assess capacity gaps in the existing institutional arrangements and make recommendations (which may include capacity building) aimed at improving collaboration between training and research institutions in order to ensure better quality service delivery for extension workers and farmers.

The mission concluded that the current institutional arrangements and context in Tanzania were very different to those in Ireland and it would not be possible to replicate the existing Teagasc model where research, extension and training are all under a single government framework in the Tanzanian context where the institutional arrangements and local context are very different. However, the team recognised that there are significant components within the Teagasc model that could be adapted to suit the Tanzanian context.