Women in Kilombero District, Morogoro Region have been receiving training on how to increase grain production in a move to boost their incomes.
Those who have started to benefit are women of Mbingu, Mchombe and Ifakara wards in the district in a programme aimed at increasing maize, paddy, banana and sesame production.
This was revealed at the weekend by Mashaka Semkiwa, Community Development Committee (CDC) and member at Camfed Tanzania at the organisation’s annual general meeting held in Morogoro municipality.
At present Camfed Tanzania has brought agricultural and livestock experts to the wards to help the farmers especially young rural women from poor communities in the district.
“Camfed is doing this project because lack of knowledge in the benefits of modern agriculture is a major impediment to smallholder farmers who work without the aid of new technology,” he said.
In these wards, the farmers are trained on new methodologies in agriculture including, planting the crops, making good harvests, improving production as well as raising milk production.
“As CDC member, I believe that through their support the farmers will obtain skills suited to their farming as well as help them to move from where they are,” he said, noting that right now there are 235 Camfed members in the district who are involved in small scale agricultural activities and a member’s farm size ranges between one acre and 3 acres.
Apart from offering training for farmers, Camfed also provides loan facilities to them although the members have established a revolving fund to support them to access loans.
The scheme was set up in 2010 by Camfed members and right now a total of 36,475,801/50 has been contributed by 235 members in the district.
Among them 68 members have received loan facilities from the fund and while those who have joined the fund are 230 from Mofu, Mbingu, Mchombe and Ifakara wards.
Apart from that, Camfed members have been contributed a total of 650,000/- to the Safety Net Fund Program (SNF) in the district to support 170 vulnerable children in Ifakara, Mchombe and Mbingu wards
“The district has more than 100 young women who have received healthy training from Camfed and who have become health activists,” he said.
Kilombero district is situated in the vast floodplain between the Kilombero River in the south-east and the Udzungwa Mountains, he said, noting that the area is predominantly rural with semi-urban district headquarters at Ifakara as a major settlement.