Capacity building programmes that were run last year and early this year have seen more than 19,000 crop producers and livestock keepers access wider market across the country and region.
World Vision Tanzania (WVT) did, in 2011 dedicate efforts towards improving the farmers and pastoralists’ livelihoods and as a report published in the same year states, 85,103 farmers were trained on improved agronomic practices and another 34, 162 on storage and processing techniques.
On the other hand, some 34, 807 livestock keepers were trained on improved animal husbandry and another 4,211 received training on storage and processing of animal products. Of these, a total of 11,974 crop producers and 8,130 livestock keepers were linked to various markets in Tanzania.
According to the report, mid last year, WVT launched a holistic agriculture economic development consortium with Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), Farm Concern International (FCI) and MicroEnsure to substantially increase small holder farmer livelihoods through creation of vibrant economic systems.
A total of 5,095 farmers were organized into 165 Commercial Producer Groups (CPG) and 537 farers accessed loans worth 195m/- from SEDA. Data collected from 32 millers in ten villages indicated that 19,000 metric tones were received in 2012 as compared to 14000 in 2011 that is a 37 percent increase.
There was also an overall increase in income, in fact it well more than doubled, revenue rose by 142 percent from 12.2bn/- recorded in 2011 to 29.5bn/- recorded in this year. The average price of 50 kg of rice also increased from 43,500 in 2011 to 73,900 in 2012.
One of the loan beneficiaries, Khasim Kinyashi, thanked SEDA for the support which in his words ‘has changed his life’.
“Earlier I used to borrow up to 15,000 from individual lenders and pay debt by giving them up to 100 kilograms of paddy rice which is worth 60,000/-…it was daylight robbery…” he complained but with a sense of relief clearly glad to be rid of the unscrupulous lenders.
Now he and other farmers have access to loans from the agency at reasonable interest rates backed with training and marketing assistance, a system that is evidently bearing a good fruits.
“Because of the support o I get from the project…”he explained “…this year I have harvested 45 bags that gave me a total of 2,250 Kgs of rice…” at that point he laughed heartily, a vision of his promising future vivid in his mind and his next words revealed the optimism “…I expect to farm more next season and open a stationery office as an alternative source of income….”
Kinyashi,is only one of thousands upon thousands of farmer and pastoralists that now look at the future with hope, with savings they can plan, invest and enjoy more than just the very basics of life. Such is the difference that dedicated, earnest and practical aid can achieve, national development and improved social welfare, one person, one group, one community at a time.
Currently WVT has established its program in 36 districts across 13 regions, reaching many more farmer and pastrolists, groups that are otherwise sidelined.