Mkulima Collection is part of the agricultural information services provided to the general public (farmers in particular) by Sokoine National Agricultural Library (SNAL) which is found at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA).
The Collection was established in 2016 and comprised of hard copies held in the library building (Edward Moringe Campus) and electronic collection of publications accessed at https://www.lib.sua.ac.tz/mkulima/. The aim of this collection is to cater to the information needs of the farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector within and outside the country.
Part of Mkulima Collection (print collection) held at SNAL building
SNAL has two roles, first, is to serve as a university library thus, serving the academic community information needs which support teaching, learning, research and consultancy. Secondly, is to serve as a national agricultural library by an Act of parliament no. 21 of 1991 which gives the mandate to provide agricultural information services to farmers community in the country.
Documents that form Mkulima Collection highly result from the research projects conducted by SUA researchers and discipline-specific professionals. The documents are written in a simple and direct language which allows an average literate farmer to access and use the information presented. Mkulima Collection has been an important tool of information to farmers of all types of crops and livestock keepers in the country. Information acquired in this collection is to broaden farmers’ understanding of various agricultural activities, get updated knowledge and direct solutions to the problems encountered in their field of production.
The collection is mainly made up of the documents in the Swahili language; however, there are some publications in the English language. So far, the online collection has almost 600 documents in different agricultural fields which can freely be accessed and downloaded for use by farmers.
Document acquisitions in Mkulima Collection highly depend upon voluntary contribution by researchers and experts. Therefore, SNAL encourages researchers and experts from and outside SUA to voluntarily deposit their research and project write-ups for effective communication of new innovations and updated information to farmers. The writing should be tailored for use by an average literate farmer, unlike the current trend which mostly favours academic and research activities.
Mkulima Collection (digital collection) accessed on the website
SNAL call upon researchers and experts to leave a legacy in the agricultural sector in the country by voluntarily sharing their professional knowledge through publications deposited in Mkulima Collection. The knowledge shared through publications in Mkulima Collection has a significant contribution to the improved production, quality of the production and increased income of majority farmers in the country.
Mkulima Collection has been participating into various agricultural outreach and exhibitions services such as Nane Nane, Sabasaba, Sokoine Memorial Week and research stations as a means of marketing and creating awareness to the general public and agriculture stakeholders.
SNAL management is also working out to develop a Mobile App for Mkulima Collection in a near future. This is to improve access as farmers can either use the Mobile App or access the collection via Mkulima Collection webpage (as it is right now).