GLOBAL – A new five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing research and nutrition was recently signed by the World Vegetable Centre and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC).

The signing agreement was announced in the just completed African Food Systems Summit 2023 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Marco Wopereis, Director General of the World Vegetable Centre, stated in a sideline dialogue at the summit during the signing process, that the MoU will expedite more research in the areas of farming and fertilizer applications.

According to Wopereis, more research will facilitate precision by offering concrete measurement on whether vegetable farmers need to apply fertilizers.

This pact is consistent with the World Vegetable Center’s definitive goal of enhancing healthier lives and more resilient livelihoods by championing for diversity in what farmers grow and eat.

“The ultimate objective of the collaboration is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in particular SDG 1 and 2,” the Director General further specified.

The listed SDGs seek to enhance food and nutrition security, reduce rural and urban poverty, and increase employment opportunities to youth and women.

He further noted that the MoU implementation process will entail expert research on the productivity of fertilizer application in vegetable farming.

The research will be an extension of the ongoing soil health studies in Unguja, Pemba, and six other islands.

Notably, this partnership between the World Vegetable Centre and IFDC is one among other prior projects where they have implemented numerous initiatives to help find durable solutions in the farming sector.

Henk van Duijin, IFDC President and CEO added that the MoU also necessitates benchmarking through exchange of staff to encourage sharing of experiences, scientific knowledge, and technology advances.

Founded in 1974, IFDC plays a critical role in the development and transfer of affordable, effective fertilizer technologies around the world. 

According to Duijin, the agreement will enable farmer awareness on when and where to apply fertilizers as per soil health to produce vegetables and crops with full nutrients.

“The implementation of the MoU will further help improve the research and development of vegetable crops, enhance nutrition, and increase food security in the country,” he added.

Also sharing his sentiments was the Director of the Tanzania Chapter of the World Vegetable Centre, Dr. Gabriel Rugalema who said that investing in proper production of enough vegetables will strengthen the availability of more nutritious products thus boosting health and income.

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