The four-year project is co-implemented by Community Forest Pemba (CFP), Dar es Salaam based People's Development Forum (PDF) and Tanzania Media Women Association (Tamwa).
They said the project which gears to uplift small holder spice farmers from poverty will also benefit farmers engaging in horticultural (vegetable and fruits) from over 50 shehias in Unguja and Pemba Islands.
Speaking at the Bandamaji shehia in North Unguja Region, some of the farmers said they are hopeful that the project will improve the horticulture value chain as well as their welfare.
Kidume Juma said: “Most us are yet to benefit from vegetable and spice farming, but with this project we are going to make profits as we will be applying modern farming methods.”
Chapa Mkali Juma said that lack of coordinated markets have resulted in farmers incurring huge losses as some fruits and vegetables got rotten at the farm. He appealed to the government through the project to assist them with markets for their farm products.
He also appealed to Zanzibaris to prioritize buying locally produced agricultural products. He called upon the government to come up with a system to control prices of vegetables, fruits and spices as most small holder farmers sell their products to agents at lowest prices.
The project’s business development officer, Mwanaidi Mussa Shembwana said the agricultural sector in the isles faces a number of challenges including lack of quality fruit seeds.
She said most of the small holder farmers do not have ideas on the exact type of fruits required at the market, insisting the need for a market survey before engaging in production of certain products.
Mwanaisha added that pineapples are grown in most parts of Zanzibar, but yet framers are unaware of the exact types of pineapples required at international markets.
“This project will also assist farmers to reach markets within and outside the country. we will also make sure that they practice their agricultural activities in modern ways and product quality products that can be exported to markets abroad,” added the officer.
She said they are collaborating with stakeholders in Canada who have been tasked to look for markets for the horticultural products to be produced in the four year.
The project’s finance officer, Agnes Nicodemas Msengi said they will also train farmers on business management.
“We want them to build a culture of saving and embrace financial discipline to help them grow their businesses,” said Msengi noting there will also be loans provided to various farmers groups including women. Read More...https://epaper.ippmedia.com