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ICTs and National Agricultural Research Systems – The case of Tanzania

The current research and extension system in Tanzania is mainly public funded, although decentralizing and rightsizing the research establishment have relieved the government’s budget strain through complete privatization of major cash crops. Decentralization has put extension under local government authorities to enhance greater client participation in Technology Development and Transfer (TDT) and making these processes participatory as opposed to the previous centralized, top-down set-up. It has, in addition, brought research and extension closer, to better serve the end-users. Research and extension services, which have enjoyed World Bank funding through TARP II and NAEP II projects respectively, wind up late in 2003. However, from the study, it has been noted that there exists shortage of appropriately packaged kits and messages for crop and livestock technology and a failure of the NARS to fully exploit the power of information technology.