SAT awards best organic farmers and pastoralists

07Dec 2021
Michael Sikapundwa
The Guardian
SAT awards best organic farmers and pastoralists

​​​​​​​THE Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) has dished out 1,950,000/- to16 farmer and pastoralist groups to support organic farming and smart livestock keeping.

Morogoro District Commissioner Albert Msando.

The groups are from Mvomero and Morogoro districts council in Morogoro region and others from Kilimanjaro region.

The funds were handed over to the groups by the Morogoro District Commissioner Albert Msando at the just-ended 8th agro-ecological forum, seed fair, and organic food festival.

The event which was organised by SAT which brought together participants from various parts whereby more than 500 famers were exhibiting their seed varieties namely, pumpkin, soybean, sunflower, pawpaw, okra cowpea, chickpea, and sesame.

DC Msando commended SAT for solving farmers’ and pastoralists’ disputes through the application of organic agriculture technology which enable two groups to work as one family in small areas, running their economic activities compared to time before conflict was inevitable.

“I ordered Morogoro district council’s cooperative societies’ registers to schedule enough budget to enable its members to access loans which will be able to widen agricultural schemes or any project to return it on time, I warn officials who create fake groups to feed their pockets,’’ he said.

He urged farmers and pastoralists to have a vision of their activities which include investing in producing quality products, packaging them to sell in local and international markets.

Marketing and Agricultural researcher, from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), John Kwingwa, said there’s a need of having a spices board as the government did to Cotton, tea linked it with the success of farmers to that region from being able to access agricultural facilities and loans.

“Apart from having crops’ board, the government has to improve infrastructures such as roads which hinder the movement of people and produce from the town centres,” he added.

SAT’s chief executive director, Alex Wostry called on the government to assure farmers with irrigation infrastructure to support irrigation for sustainable productivity.

Morogoro regional assistant registrar of cooperatives, Keneth Shemdoe also hailed SAT for enabling his office to register three groups namely; spices group (CHAUWAVIMU), Ereto Milk Cooperative society ltd and Wanyama Maziwa cooperative society ltd.

“SAT is doing a very remarkable job for helping farmers recognize the potential in the agriculture sector and then take steps to utilize the potential, you have been uniting farmers through groups while linking them with financial institutions for them to grow,” he asserted.

One of the awarded farmers, Mercy Meena called on fellow farmers to use local seed varieties such as zebra sunflower whose capacity is to produce 25 liters of oil from 85 kilograms of sunflowers.

“Besides, zebra sunflower’s oil is clear (colorless) compared to the black one which produces black oil. The seed is grown during maize season so it is not easy to be attacked by birds as many crops are grown during that season,” she advised.

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