The programme enables small-scale farmers in rural Tanzania to receive a one-year training in organic agriculture. The farmers receive face-to-face practicums in their villages using demonstration plots and attend intensive one-week practical trainings at the SAT Farmer Training Centre (FTC) in Morogoro, the first Training Centre for Agroecology in Tanzania. The training content is based on farmers' interests & needs and includes entrepreneurial skills, as well as saving & lending services.
Small-scale farmers who often earn less than 2 $US/day are suffering from social & environmental problems caused by environmentally-destructive and unsustainable farming practices (slash and burn, e.g.) which lead to food insecurity, poverty and malnutrition resulting from environment degradation through loss of top soil, water supplies and forests. SAT reduces these problems by using impact-proven strategies based on four holistic pillars: Dissemination, Application, Research and Networking.
SAT's professional facilitators will conduct trainings with both theoretical & practical sessions (30%:70%) in the field and at SAT FTC. The farmers will be able to maintain soil fertility, prevent soil erosion & increase crop yields without applying chemical fertilizers & pesticides. SAT's Innovation Platform with currently 2638 farmers from 96 groups distributes the documented & refined valuable experiences made in the field to a national community of >50.000 small-scale farmers.
SAT guides trained farmer groups through the PGS & East African organic certification process , creates linkages to organic markets and integrate the farmers into the SAT core farmer network. An external evaluation showed the benefits for SAT trained farmers: - Increase in income of 38% - 91% are using erosion control measures - Use of chemicals is reduced by almost 100% - Reduction of 59% in water consumption - 97% could improve their life situation - Diets & family health improves.