Our commitment to improving management of important pests of crops, animals and humans is the lifeblood of the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Pest Management Centre (SPMC). I am deeply proud of the remarkable work our team is doing to acquire knowledge and generate solutions for pest problems in Tanzania and elsewhere in the region.
SPMC’s research activities are broadly destined at understanding the biology and ecology of important vertebrate and invertebrate pests of crops, animals and humans; and eventually developing sustainable technologies and/or strategies to manage such pests. Most of our research projects for the last three decades have overwhelmingly been focusing on rodent pests, as the main source of crop damage/losses and zoonotic diseases.
Recently (2017), the Centre competitively acquired a prestigious status ‘Africa Centre of Excellence for Innovative Rodent Pest Management and Biosensor Technology Development (Acronym: Rat-Tech)’. This Centre aims at building capacity in rodent research and biosensor technology development across the region.
Going forward, we have started growing our research capacity towards other priority pests notably armyworms, Quelea quelea, termites, cockroaches, mosquitoes, fleas, tsetseflies ticks and blackflies. The Centre is already housing researchers with the relevant expertise and experience; therefore we will use them to catalyze and drive our efforts towards that direction. In view of the same, we are progressively factoring in other strategies: Early Career Researchers Development Program (already in place), postdoctoral fellows program, increasing grant applications, employing additional research staff based on research projects and creating and/or improving capacity through exchange programmes.
I do hope that you will enjoy exploring more about who we are and what we do; and if you are interested in collaborating or you are aspiring to become one of us, feel free to get in touch.
Early Career Researchers Development Programme
If you are enthusiastic to develop your career in pest research and become a part or one of us, SPMC is your home. We recruit 5-10 self-motivated and highly talented graduates each year to learn and work with us on voluntary basis. This group of graduates ‘The future generation Albert Einsteins of Pest Research and Technology Development’ are trained on all aspects of research and technology development. As part of this endeavor, we support them in developing competitive proposals for MSc and PhD fellowships; and make sure they attain these qualifications in part of their evolution to becoming successful and independent researchers. The plan is to retain few ones to strengthen our research team; and link the rest with other relevant research institutions and companies.
Going forward, we aim to transform SPMC to a centre which can attract and support diverse and vibrant researchers. We would like to progressively reinforce our research workforce by recruiting committed and productive researchers through research projects. As such, we will be able to increase the scope of our research and outputs. Our Early Career Development Program will help us attain this.
“Science is only made better once presented and shared"
We are actively involved in different training programmes throughout the year. We do the following under this structure.
- SPMC hosts both MSc. and PhD students from within Sokoine University of Agriculture and other Universities within and outside Africa.
- SPMC provides short courses on pest management for pest management managers/extension staff.