Since we have been working with PlantVillage and using their Nuru app to test the farms in our community, we have realised that high rates of infestation of pests and diseases is hugely reducing yields, right across Kasulu District and beyond. Without higher yields our community will continue to live in poverty, worried about where the next meal will come from.
Therefore, we have set up 25 demo plots of a total of 46 acres of 3 types of improved cassava, which are both pest and drought resistant, have short growing seasons and high yields. The varieties are Mkumba, Kiroba, and Tari-CAS4, all from Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI). The local infected cassava our community is currently growing takes 2 to 3 years to harvest between 8 and 20 bags per acre. These improved seeds produce 75 -100 bags after 10 months.
Currently these seeds are not available in Kigoma but we are registering as a certified seed producer with Tosci, so that we will be able to supply the community, as well as setting up a ushirika (growers association) so that farmers will be able to sell the surplus they will produce collectively.
Community farmer groups have been busy weeding and helping monitor the demo plots, and will divide up the harvest from them. We are also testing the soil at each site and noting the rainfall, so we will have a better idea of which types of cassava perform best in different conditions. Local schools are also involved in this experiment.
The whole community is excited by the impact of this improved cassava!
Thank you again for your generosity in supporting us to support our community.
Improving lives is the great passion and commitment which Mboni ya Vijana Group has been implementing through activities those make community feel world a better place for life. However climate change is a threat hitting the means of production which is the main means of fulfilling the demands. Thanks to your donations we have been creating living ways through food and water accessibility as well environmental works by families. This report stipulates and presents some of the remarkable success and what next we are to achieve for the best of Kasulu community and the world at large.
The community of Kasulu is engaging in small farming however most of the families rely much on poor and uncontrolled farming that does not enable them harvest enough food. We have created the best path that everyone is now going through. The best farming practices have shown great success whereby we managed to increase yields by 260% in rice and maize. Here is the reference;
Deleli and Rose did not know whether Zeze land was able to grow and produce rice to the high extent however; they have managed to produce eight bags of rice on the small plot of land that did never get used for production. “This has been my wonderful lesson to grow and manage rice on land that people cannot even consider for production. Learning and adapting to better farming methods, is the great thing I noticed in my life. I couldn’t believe we could have harvested eight sucks/bags of rice on the land at Zeze – Deleli says”. Rose says; “we have cabbages from a very poor soil. This is because we are learning how to improve soil to increase agricultural yields for both income and food security. This kind of experience, is giving food and income enabling us improve lives”.
Drought is the major obstacle in tropical regions especially Tanzania lying 450 south from the equator. The sun heat hits it to the maximum of 12 hrs in 24hrs of a day. We have been developing irrigation scheme to enable families produce food through the year and through drought. Apart from irrigation, families need water for domestic for living improvement. This is what we are doing and there are these references; “I am not worried with food anymore, I can farm during rainfall and dry season after access to water from the borehole for irrigation. These maize aren’t the possible planting and harvesting in the absent of water during the dry season but I have them throughout the year” – Jesca says.
Not only Jesca, Mama Dunda hails the water access as it reduced the time he wasted for water collection and added time for farm works and other businesses. Mama Dunda says; “My husband went to collect firewood in bushes and went to stream to collect water by a bicycle. He spent most of the time on collecting perishable family facilities. I have been nursing and I couldn’t help him. We lost income and time to produce food. Now I access water within 50 meters, I can leave my baby home and get water. My husband now use most of time at farm and shop selling goods. We are increasing food and income security by the presence of water closer”.
Ntagoma is a father of the family with 6 household members and he is feeding his family from the small help we made to him. He got a loan of 320,000/= Tzs for farming and starting small business. “I am very proud to have time to live this time. I didn’t think I would have made good life like it is now. The loan of 320,000Tzs has made me start and establish my vending shop. This shop helps me get more money to invest in farming and family help. I have the shop and tomatoes garden which I would not have managed without the help from Mboni ya Vijana Group” – Ntagoma quoted.
Improved education is the impact that we are proud of following enable youth feed their families scheme in Zeze Kasulu. The scheme has increased food, income and water access to the families and resulted into increase of number of pupils joining secondary education and environmental related. We planted and educate students about climate change and adaptations both play the role of increasing awareness among the community and students. Here are some reference cases;
Shadrack is a form three student at Zeze Secondary school and he comes from the very poor family. He is one among the other students farming Zeze Secondary School Environmental Club. Here he says “Nothing impossible on earth that is what I can say. I didn’t believe that I could have studied secondary education because of extremely income poverty of my family. No one who would have helped me in my family, if Mboni ya Vijana Group hadn’t helped my mother. She strived with small businesses and improved small farming which give to us food and income to help us get good health, ability to buy school needs and therefore I am good in academic at the school. I am as well aware of the climate change and I am planting trees to combat it”.
In Zeze, like much of rural Tanzania, people are subsistence farmers depending on their crop of maize and cassava for food, and if the harvest is good to sell and buy essentials like school uniform.
But Climate change has lead to a reduction in rainfall in Zeze. The subsistence farmers find it increasingly difficult to grow enough food to feed their families (let alone surplus to pay for things such as medicine and school uniforms). Climate change also leads to problems such as rainfall timing, drought, increase of crop attacking diseases and insects, increased heat and winds speed, all of which are causing poor agricultural production. To maintain food needs, farmers are expanding the farms and mostly are going to virgin land by encroachment and so causing deforestation.
We are delighted to partner with the amazing PlantVillage to help farmers increase their knowledge and capabilities, as importantly, adapt to the changes that they face – to work together for the agricultural innovation and development in Tanzania.
PlantVillage helps farmers through their triple A model (Algorithmic, Agricultural, and Advice) that they developed, to the yield and profitability. Through providing solutions to farmers by leveraging advances in AI, mobile phones, and more, they help farmers improve their knowledge and crops.
Together, we have created a Dream Team of incredible field officers and extension agents. This Dream Team is the operational agricultural experts unit who works directly in the smallholder farmers’ fields. Their roles are to detect, advice, information dissemination and solution delivers to the farmers on the pests and diseases the crops are having. Primarily detection of the crops infections are run by the dream team using technology that enables the expert to know what an issue and provide immediate answers to the farmers.
Our team members include Ashura, January, Pendo, Thadei, Naomi, Joachim, Juliana, Vicent, Happiness, and Robert – all dedicated and motivated agricultural graduates. If you would like to find out more about the people that make up our Dream Team in Tanzania you can do so here
Removing pests can increase yields by well over 100% and so have a huge impact on farmers and their families.
Earlier this month we hosted a webinar with PlantVillage and you can access the recording here.
Thank you for your generosity
Since our last report we have been very busy and have installed 4 more rope pumps and boreholes in local schools, which are having a huge impact on students attendance and achievement as they no longer have to walk for hours every day to collect water. More information here.
We were delighted that our local secondary school, Zeze, has for the first time achieved 100% success in the recent exams. More information here.
We've also been busy with our tree planting schemes in local schools. We have grown thousands of local and fruit trees from seed in our tree nursery, which we have distributed to local schools to plant in their school gardens. This is part of teaching about the importance of preserving our environment and the fruits will provide much needed vitamins and nutrition.
We've also been expanding our egg production with the help of an incubator. This brings in much needed income to the community and also helps boost nutrition.
News of our success is begining to spread far and wide, and this month we were invited to talk about our programmes on the Deutche Welle radio station in nearby Kasulu.
Thank you for your generosity that enables us to feed our community.
Many schools in our district face huge challenges with water, with students spending many hours every day carrying water from streams and ponds to use for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. This causes many difficulties for them. They waste a lot of time that they could have spent studying, and the water is often shared with animals so dirty which causes many diseases.
So we are so pleased to report that thanks to your generous donations we have managed to drill and install another 7 boreholes and rope pumps in the last 4 months. So now students like Frazia from Yanza school, no longer have to walk long distances each day. You can see a video of her explaining some of those challenges here.
And students from Kasangezi show where they used to collect their water from here.
Now both schools have clean water on site and students can spend their time more productively. Grace, 15, says, "we are so pleased to have this well in our school. Previously we spent 2 hours every day collecting water and many people got ill from the dirty water. Now we can study better and fewer fellow students are falling ill. We thank God and everyone who has helped us.
Also several of the schools have been able to start school gardens now they have water available. This means they can grow nutricious vegetables like spinach to improve students' diet and health.
We still have over 20 more schools on our waiting list needing water, that we hope to supply when funds are available.
Thank you again for your generosity.
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