Catalyzing agricultural innovation in Tanzania

by BRAC USA
Mgeni a livestock promotor in Tanzania
Mgeni a livestock promotor in Tanzania

The agriculture and livestock sectors in sub-Saharan Africa have remarkable potential to foster economic growth – especially in rural areas. But in order to take advantage of regional resources, countries like Tanzania need to equip local farmers with the skills and tools they need to be successful.

With your support, the Livelihoods Enhancement through Agriculture Development (LEAD) program, conducted in Tanzania, has increased farmers’ incomes by teaching them skills such as effective bargaining and confidence in their product through marketing. LEAD also trains the farmers in business tactics: they learn competitive negotiating skills and cost reduction strategies.  By organizing groups through which farmers can cultivate markets and contacts, as well as offering easier access to supplies and modern agriculture technology, many more families have become food secure. In just two years of operation LEAD has formed 5,027 farmers’ organizations for both maize and poultry.

The majority of the farmers participating in LEAD are women. Mgeni is an excellent example of one woman who benefited from a BRAC agriculture program. To start her poultry business, Mgeni took out 250,000 Tanzanian shillings (120 USD) from a BRAC microfinance program. Now, she makes between two and three million shillings monthly (960-1,440 USD) by supplying local shops with eggs; Mgeni is considering buying a car to expand her market even further. Her first small loan has allowed Mgeni to expand her business and apply for a BRAC Small Enterprise Loan (up to 30 million shillings or 14,400USD). Mgeni success story is one of many that will continue to inspire farmers like her to get involved with LEAD and start their own competitive business.

Thank you for donating to this project. As it receives more funding and support, BRAC looks to expand its agriculture programs in Tanzania and continue to train farmers to plant their crops efficiently and maximize outputs.

Grace is a farmer in BRAC
Grace is a farmer in BRAC's Agriculture project

BRAC takes an integrated approach to help people rise out of poverty and realize their potential. This is why BRAC has been developing an extensive agricultural network that invests in research and technology that could increase farming yields, and as a result empower farmers in Tanzania.  

BRAC has already established an effective method of production, distribution and marketing of quality seeds at reasonable prices and has created a system where poor farmers receive microcredit support. There are also numerous agricultural training programs provided to the farmers, such as the Vegetable and Kitchen Farmers program, where the farmers are provided with technical knowledge about producing simple crops in small pieces of land.

However, BRAC wants to go beyond its current success in Tanzania and develop a system where production is increased by expanding irrigation, there is greater access to quality fertilizers and pesticides, and larger investment in its agriculture research stations to develop disease-resistant seed varieties. The current activities along with BRAC’s plan to expand the project will target the problem of poor crop productivity in a more effective manner.  

Thank you for donating to support this work. As we look to catalyze agricultural innovation in Tanzania we appreciate your help in empowering our farmers! 

Rachel Chezari  Alison Wright 2014
Rachel Chezari Alison Wright 2014

Rachel Chezari is a maize farmer working in Dodoma, a city in the Ipagal district of Tanzania. Rachel is part of BRAC’s Livelihood Enhancement through Agricultural Development, or LEAD program. With the help of BRAC, Rachel makes about $450 a year, enough to support her three boys. She works in the maize fields and has been taught by BRAC how to use fertilizer to improve her crops and sell them at the market. Rachel is one of many entreprenuers trained and supported by BRAC with agriculture and livelihood training. Help more women like Rachel support their families and donate today!

Rachel and three boys  Alison Wright 2013
Rachel and three boys Alison Wright 2013
Fertilizer for crops  Alison Wright 2014
Fertilizer for crops Alison Wright 2014
Shucking corn  Alison Wright 2014
Shucking corn Alison Wright 2014
(BRAC/Alison Wright, 2014)
(BRAC/Alison Wright, 2014)

BRAC's agriculture program works with governments to ensure food security while empowering local women farmers with the knowledge and skill they need to become successful entrepreneurs. We build systems of production, distribution and marketing of quality seeds at fair prices, conduct research to develop better varieties and practices for the agricultural sector, offer credit support to poor farmers, and promote the use of efficient farming techniques and proven technologies. Using environmentally sustainable practices, we are helping the countries where we work become self-sufficient in food production.

This is exactly what we hope to do in Tanzania. With this particular project, we are training agriculture extension workers and equipping them with the tools and inputs they need to make the communities food secure. BRAC-trained agricultural workers will in turn be training thousands of small-holder, women farmers to create sustainable livelihoods and improve nutrition at the grassroots level. 

Increased incomes and farm productivity will allow women farmers to send their children to school, to afford healthcare and to deal with financial shocks to the household. Please make a donation to this amazing project to give women farmers the opportunity to be self-sustaining.

Through some introductory funding from other partners, BRAC has begun implementing this agriculture development project in Tanzania. A total of 105 local staff have been recruited who will soon become experts in agriculture and veterinary services in their communities. Additionally, BRAC has set baseline goals in 40 branch offices that span 15 regions of the country.

BRAC staff has also conducted preliminary studies of access to finance markets and has developed an agricultural loan product to assist small farmers once they have all been recruited from the communities in which we are operating.

Now is your chance to contribute to this project that is sure to have a positive impact on food security and nutrition within the communities that BRAC serves!

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Organization Information

BRAC USA

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.bracusa.org
BRAC USA
Project Leader:
Scott MacMillan
New York, NY United States