APOPO and SUA win at Nane Nane
APOPO awarded at Tanzania’s annual agricultural trade fair.
Every year Tanzania celebrates Nane Nane Day on the 8th of August in recognition the important contribution of the agricultural sector to the national economy. Nane Nane (pronounced naa-neh naa-neh) means “eight eight” in Swahili as it falls on the eighth day of the eighth month and is a national public holiday.
One-week agricultural trade fairs take place in main geographic zones including a cluster of cities across Tanzania where farmers and other agricultural stakeholders (e.g. universities and research institutes, input suppliers or fertilizer producing industries) showcase new technologies, ideas, discoveries and alternative solutions concerning the agricultural sector. This is also a chance for government and private firms to present their services and activities to the public.
APOPO together with partner Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) participates every year and this year together they emerged overall winners of stand service and customer care. The Nane Nane fair in Morogoro draws participants from the eastern zone, which includes Dar es Salaam, Coast region, Tanga and host Morogoro region.
This year the APOPO and SUA Pest Management Center (SPMC) pavilion was a crowd-puller with its demonstrations on landmine- and TB-detection and other scent detection research projects, in particular the pangolin and hardwood detection study. SPMC showcased their innovations on rodent pest management including the use of cat urine bioactive chemical compounds to keep rodents at bay.
The event was officiated by the Tanzanian Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Honorable Charles Mwijage who was particularly interested in the innovative TB detection research APOPO carries out using rats. Tanzania is one of 30 high TB-burden countries in the world, and due to its weakening effect on the human body, TB can have devastating effects on a countries workforce. Therefore TB response is hugely important in promoting public health and a healthier workforce needed for the industrialization process.
Other high-profile guests who visited the APOPO stand at this exhibition included the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, who upon arriving at our pavilion announced “Here are the famous rats!”
H.E. Kikwete keenly observed the TB detection rats at work and landmine detection rats under preliminary training to find TNT buried pots.
The Second Vice President of Zanzibar Honorable Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi also visited the pavilion and was thrilled to see firsthand what the rats can do.
Another notable visitor was the Ambassador of Seychelles to Tanzania who was inspired by the performance of the detection rats.
APOPO has consistently participated at the Nane Nane exhibitions which is considered a unique opportunity to showcase innovation to the general public, school children and the high level government officials that attend. It allows APOPO to increase awareness of its activities and acceptability and potentially opens new avenues to further applications of detection rat technology.
APOPO staff together with their colleagues from SPMC were recognized as excellent in customer care and service to the public in terms of providing clear and informative explanations to everyone who visited the pavilion and watched the rat demonstrations. This was reflected in the evaluation meeting organized by SUA – Institute for Continuing Education (ICE) that coordinates university participation in these outreach activities.
APOPO is extremely grateful for the steadfast support and partnership of SUA .