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Tuesday 12 October, 2010

SUPPORTING THE PROMOTERS OF THE GREEN REVOLUTION

kilimokwanza@guardian.co.tz

Sunny times for Singida farmers


The Guardian KILIMO KWANZA

Tuesday 12 October, 2010

EDITORIAL

Sunny times for Singida sunflower farmers There is a saying that Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. And so it did to Mr. Rashid Ally Mamu, who got too busy setting up a sunflower processing operation in Singida to notice when the money started rolling in.

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ANZANIA has near infinite potential in horticulture and, in fact, produces a lot more than it consumes. But is yet to tap that potential fully enough. This is for sure. Tanzania ranks extremely poorly in the processing and consumption of fruits and vegetables and, as a result, most of these fragile crops fetch throwaway prices or simply rot away for lack of a ready market. No one will deny this, and it is despite the confirmed nutritional value of vegetables and fruits. Horticulture is a multimillion-dollar business and a big employer not only in advanced countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, United States, Japan and China but also in the likes of neighbouring Kenya. No doubt whatsoever. Details on this appear elsewhere in this pull-out, acknowledged by none other than Tanzania’s very own Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives ministry. In any case, this is common knowledge, partly as illustrated by statistics from the Tanzania National Business Council. The all but futile attempts made over the years to boost and improve flower, vegetable and fruit farming and seek to enable the quality processing of the crops locally before pumping them into the local and export market also attest to this unfortunate fact. Sadly, problem neither starts nor ends with horticultural crops but affects the country’s entire agricultural sector, the only difference lying in the degree of seriousness. Even fishing and animal husbandry, which have attracted the attention of experts for much longer and should therefore be faring much better, are still crying out for assistance. Experience from a wide range of countries where horticulture really stands as the intensive subset of agriculture that deals with flowers, landscape plants, vegetables and fruits shows that it is not all that of a miracle for the sector to form the core of big business. The going will definitely be tough indeed in the absence of dedication and hard intelligent work aimed at fostering agroindustry without endangering the environment. Just for the record, there are countries where horticulture is focused on finding new and environmentally responsible ways of managing plants and pests to help increase crop and ornamental plant viability. A number of universities in the US, among them Sam Houston State University, place such a premium on horticulture as a science dealing with production and management of plants for food, comfort, feed, recreation and beauty that they offer it as one of their core courses. SHSU admits that plants play a crucial part in environmental protection by re-vegetating and restoring land disturbed by human or natural activities, arresting erosion, cleaning the air and water beautifying urban and rural landscapes and recreation areas.

Horticulture is thus of special social consequence in that it improves the manner in which individuals and communities use plants for food and other purposes while repairing the environment and personal aesthetics. This is not to mention the well known fact that some of these plants are of immense medicinal value. Now, we can bet that the likes of Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and the government’s agricultural training institutes operating from various regions in the country have all along been offering similar courses. Having graduates able to work with others by using crops and natural plants to help make Tanzania a better place to live is surely something all of us should cherish. A sure bonus here is that the graduates themselves would have a wide array of careers open to them, including serving as extension officers developing greenhouses, vegetable farms and orchards or botanical gardens. They could also land well paying jobs at agricultural research institutions as well chemical and fertiliser firms. The United States’ Unity College (Maine), which enjoys distinguishing itself as America’s Environmental College, aptly notes that the demand for horticultural services will continue to grow, the need for environmental restoration and stopping erosion will require more experts in environmental horticulture, and the need for bigger and better crops will increase demand for workers in agriculture. Just as agriculture generally, horticulture stands to benefit from mechanisation and enhanced farm management efficiency. It is worth noting that this subscribes to the very cornerstones of Tanzania’s Kilimo Kwanza initiative. It’s true that this will have an impact on job opportunities somewhere along the line, but we shouldn’t be so scared of the consequences as to ignore or underrate the importance of modern horticultural and allied practices. The experts at our disposal are duty bound to help in taking care of the ‘balancing act’ – so why should we risk continuing to lose millions of dollars every year by unnecessarily underutilising our huge potential in horticulture?

Wallace Mauggo Editor

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Growing money on mango trees in Mkuranga

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VETA introduces affordable solar powered water pumps

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The sheer size of unutilized arable land in Tanzania can be unsettling and when you choose to do something about it, the rewards can be satisfying, both psychologically and financially.

Investing in irrigation development is one of the effective means of increasing and stabilizing food and cash crops production. It is in this regard that one of the Kilimo Kwanza partners, the Vocational Educational and Training Authority (VETA) came up with the economical solar powered water pumps...

Tanzania losing billions of shillings in horticulture production

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TANZANIA has been losing millions of dollars every year by underutilizing its huge potential in horticulture production. Tanzania’s potential is higher than most African countries but it is yet to take advantage of the business.

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• VETA has innovated Solar Powered Pumps Ideal for Small Scale Pumped Irrigation Schemes in Rural and Semi-Urban Areas! • Mass Production of these Pumps is Possible if Requested by users • Water for Irrigation can be Sourced from: • River Stream • Well • Borehole, or • Reservoir • Harvested Rain Water • VETA’s innovation is a timely response to the National Irrigation Policy of February 20, 2010. VETA is among implementing Stakeholders of the policy under Academic and Research Institutions. Location: VETA, Head Quarters, Chang’ombe Road Contacts: P.O. Box 2849, Dar es Salaam, TANZANIA Tel: +255 22 2863683/2863409 Fax: +225 22 2863409 E-mail: info@veta.go.tz Website: www.veta.go.tz SKILLED LABOUR FORCE – THE FUTURE OF TANZANIA

Artwork & Design: KN Mayunga

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VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING AUTHORITY (VETA)

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Our horticulture can do wonders

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Tuesday 12 October, 2010


The Guardian KILIMO KWANZA

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COVER STORY

Tuesday 12 October, 2010

The Guardian KILIMO KWANZA

Tuesday 12 October, 2010

Sunny times for Singida sunflower farmers

COVER STORY

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Growing money on mango trees in Mkuranga

By Bhoke Msama, Singida. here is a saying that Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. And so it did to Mr. Rashid Ally Mamu, who got too busy setting up a sunflower processing operation in Singida to notice when the money started rolling in. Even now, he is still too busy with the expansion that has seen more people, including unskilled ones who were not lucky to attend school, get gainful employment. After retiring from public service in 2003, Mamu started a makeshift sunflower processing plant which was registered in 2007 by the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) and his products certified by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS). It is the high demand for sunflower oil in the country that prompted Mamu, the Director of Nyemo Investment Company to invest in sunflower production and processing. Accessing raw materials for sunflower oil production was not a problem since there was plenty of sunflower in the region. “The availability of sunflower in Singida encouraged me to invest in the processing industry. So did the high demand for oil which does not contain too many chemicals,” says Mamu. Singida is a major producer of sunflower in Tanzania. Although it is grown in abundance, there were no reliable buyers and so the existence of Nyemo Investment Company came as a blessing for farmers as it assured them of a market for their sunflower. According to a report by the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO), the region depends on agriculture (both crop production and animal husbandry), commerce and small industries. Food crops grown include millet, sorghum, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes paddy and beans, and cash crops include sunflower, cotton, finger millet groundnuts and onions. The region receives rainfall of between 500mm and 800mm per annum. The rainy season commences in November up to April. The dry season covers all months from May to October. Agriculture in Singida region provides employment to over 90% of the total working population and there is about 1,134,400 hectares suitable for growing various types of crops. The only available industries in the region are small scale industries, usually processing industries which apply simple technology that cannot meet the ever increasing consumer demands. Most of these industries are individually owned. Mamu has a close working relationship with farmers in the village to ensure the constant supply of sunflower for his plant. He has been working with more than 100 farmers in the village together with collection centres at Chamwino, Iramba, Kiteto, Kidarafa, Kalama to ensure the availability of raw materials (sunflower). “We have collection centers in different villages and we have been working with farmers from the village for production of materials in order to ensure the constant of supply of materials,” he said. Commenting on the market, Mamu says there is a high demand countrywide and beyond borders for cooking oil which does not contain cholesterol. However, he says there is a small distribution network countrywide. Mamu says his company considers all types of consumers by packing the oil in different packages such as half a litre, 1litre, 5litres, 10litres, and 20litres to give a wider choice to customers. His plant can produce 1600 litres per day though the it only produces 1200 litres per day due to lack of sufficient raw materials in some seasons. Mamu’s oil is of such

By Lazaro Felix

Mr. Rashid Mamu does not regret investing in sunflower processing. high quality as it has no chemicals added, but is cheap at the same time. Mamu hopes to increase production from the current 1200 litres to 2400 litres per day in the near future, so he goes for more market out of Singida and Tanzania as well. He currently employs ten people. “We are also looking for partnerships with others in agribusiness for better production and supply of quality seeds, providing education to farmers and ensuring availability of extension officers to every sunflower producer” says the proproetor. He expressed appreciation to Rural Livelihood Development Company (RLDC) for providing education to farmers to improve productivity. This partnership with RLDC has enabled Nyemo Investments get quality raw materials from farmers. Manase Kisula is also a sunflower farmer in Singida. He is also grateful to RLDC’s intervention saying farmers have been able to improve production as well as improving quality of their produces. “The training which we have been receiving from RLDC and the extension officers in our districts has changed my sunflower production. I also have learnt how to preserve my sunflower before selling it to the factories,” says Kisula. He said although RLDC doesn’t provide free sunflower seeds, they have been helping farmers get the seeds from seed agents without delay. Kisula says most farmers were getting poor harvest because they did not know how to prepare the land properly at the right time, nor were they using quality seeds. He strongly encourages other farmers to use the extension officers for better production of sunflower. He says because of RLDC’s operations, his life has changed for the better. “The

marketing system has changed and it is easy now to get markets even in the village because there are collection centers,” he notes. Fatma Huta, a sunflower grower says her life has improved and production has increased since she started using quality seeds from seed agents in her district. “In Singida sunflower growth has impacted on people and many families are now living better lives,” she says. “They are now able to send their children to school, are building good houses and are using sunflower by-product as feed for their livestock,” she explained. The Regional Commissioner for Singida, Dr. Parseko Kone says production of cash crops in the region has increased, especially that of sunflower and sweet potatoes. He added that honey from Singida has already been acknowledged in the market and that the uniqueness of honey from Itigi village continues to add value to the market. The RC commended RLDC for their contribution in making the market system work better for rural producers something which has improved their welfare. Apart from providing training to farmers in Singida, RLDC also produces first grade seeds and encourages farmers to use traditional fertilizers like mijingu to increase production. In 2006, the yield for rural producers in Singida was Tshs 200,000 per acre but now the income is expected to increase to 300,000 per acre due to the use of improved seed varieties. The Rural Livelihood Development Company is an initiative of Swiss Development Cooperation which dedicates its work to support and improve the lives of rural producers.

Mr. Rashid Ally Mamu

The sheer size of unutilized arable land in Tanzania can be unsettling and when you choose to do something about it, the rewards can be satisfying, both psychologically and financially. Fatma Riyami, the Managing Director of Nature Ripe Kilimanjaro Ltd, believes Tanzanians can decisively kick out poverty if they make use of the idle land. She has done something about it at family level, and so can we all. Fatma’s family has invested in agriculture and their efforts are paying off. Nature Ripe Kilimanjaro Ltd was established in 2005 as a five-family members’ company. Today the company has 39 family shareholders. “People are interested in buying shares in our company because they see the high quality of the mangoes we produced and sold world wide,” she says Riyami. But success did not come by accident, as she explains: “Before embarking on the mission, my husband and I did research to find out how best to produce mangoes. My husband went to the United States and Middle East. I went to Europe,” she said. Riyami says it was her plant pathologist husband who initiated the idea of planting mangoes of the Florida type, which are widely known in the world market. The couple bought a farm at Mkuranga in Coast Region where they started planting trees in 1992. Their first mangoes were ready for sale in 2000 and so the couple took samples to Oman and Dubai where people appreciated them. They started exporting mangoes to these countries.” To achieve more exporting capacity, she said in 2005 they started a company known as Nature Ripe Kilimanjaro Ltd and started expanding mango exports to Middle East where the demand in those markets increased. “It was a challenge to meet high demand of supplying mangoes by ourselves, so we mobilized the public around Mkuranga and explained to them how they could make a better life planting mangoes for these markets,” Riyami explained. Now the orders have increased and come from as far as the Netherlands where samples were taken and received favourable appreciation. The company initiated a tree nursery at Kinondoni near in Dar es Salaam for supplying seedlings. Ninety percent of the nursery’s output is mangoes, and the rest

are other fruit varieties like tangerine, guava and oranges “The farmers get their seedlings from our nursery and thay are also trained in proper farming methods.” The demand for seedlings from the nursery has been increasing. For example, some councils like Bagamoyo, Kilwa, some in Coastal regions and Zanzibar have bought many mango seedling from the nursery. “In the coastal regions there is the project titled Common Fund for Commodities where by about 600 farmers in Coast Region, Kilwa and Zanzibar are encouraged to at least have one acre of mangoes,” she said She explained all 600 farmers get the mango seedlings from the nursery including other technical expertise like advice on proper spacing and how to tend the farms. “In some years to come some people in the costal regions will kick out poverty through from mango farming.” The company also provides services and information to individuals who want to learn more about mango farming even at a small scale and may later can expand their production capacity. The nursery also attracts man visitors. “We have been receiving guests who wish to know our activities; some are delegates from World Trade Organization, farmers and the president of United States Dressage Federation and government officials,” she explained Riyami encourages Tanzanians to use

the opportunities they have in the abundant land and the soil which supports a variety of crops provided proper agricultural methods are used to tend the land. “We have tried to plant many fruits like guava, pawpaw, watermelon, bananas, pineapples and which flourished and people have been admiring to our little plots,” says the commercial farmer. The company owns 200 acres of farmland but only 100 acres are in use, mostly under mangoes. They concentrate on he type of mangoes that need three years to produce fruits unlikely the local mangoes that stay over eight years to produce. There are other plants like pineapples that are grown in small amounts between the lines of mango trees. Riyami notes that mangoes have more opportunities in the country and outside the country especially in Dubai and Oman where Kenya, South Africa and India also export. But there is demand also in Tanzania. In 2009 Kenya exported about 1,000 tonnes of mangoes to Tanzanian market and the reason was under production capacity of the local farmers. Tanzania has low production capacity resulting from poor technology and a public tendency not to take up the many opportunities available. “Think of acres in various countries, in our farms we are planting 64 mango trees in one acre, in Israel one acre con-

tains 120 mango trees and in South African one acre sustains 1,000 trees,” she explained. “However the variation in terms of the number of trees in an acre does not affect quality, rather, it is the output depending on the kind of technology employed in the farm for example drip irrigation, proper weeding and using chemicals to kill insects and disease. We are now moving into increasing the capacity of mango trees in every acre from current 64 trees to 124 trees,” she explained However the company has suffered some stagnation due to a number of factors like poor storage facilities which leads to losses during the harvesting period. “We lack cooling facilities during fruit transportion from farms and for storage.” The infrastructure network of Tanzania is also a major challenge to fruit farmers. Technology in general is a major hindrance to expansion of fruit production as there is hardly any processing capacity in the country, meaning there is limited value addition. Unreliable electricity supply is another headache, as it makes cooling and irrigation erratic processes. Investing in expensive processing machinery without reliable power supply is a terribly high risk for an entrepreneur to take. On the whole, agribusiness is still terribly underdeveloped with support services like packaging being woefully inadequate.


The Guardian KILIMO KWANZA

Tuesday 12 October, 2010

NEWS

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Dar’s poorest survive on a single meal per day in good nutrition. According to her, more than a third of Tanzanian children do not reach their physical and mental potential NOT so long ago, a pupil at a school because of malnutrition, which is the in Tegeta fainted and was rushed by cause for more than one third of child teachers to a nearby dispensary. The deaths in Tanzania. It is estimated that over 40,000 teachers had assumed the boy was sick but upon examination, it transpired that Tanzanian children under five will die by 2010 from causes related to malnutrition. hunger was the problem. The boy had gone to bed on a hungry The most damage is inflicted during stomach the previous night and hadn’t pregnancy and in the first two years of a taken breakfast that morning. This child’s life, action must therefore focus on would not have happened if the school this period of life. According to Mwaituka good nutrihad a porridge for pupils programme like tion for children and women is essential is the case in some schools upcountry. The Tegeta pupil is one of hundreds for a strong economy. Mwaituka says the of children in Tanzania who live on one new focus on agricultural development meal a day. The one meal per day tragedy has opened an opportunity for nutrition that strikes poor families both in rural to be placed at the heart of Tanzania’s and urban areas was highlighted at a re- progress. She says inexpensive fortified foods cent journalists’ training on children’s 10 Agenda chip facilitated by the United must become widely available in Tanzania, the relevant legislation, reguNations Children’s Fund (Unicef). These poor families can not afford the lation and standards must be urgently standard three meals a day given their completed and enacted. Every health falow income status. Most live on less than cility should provide essential nutrition services for children and women, introa dollar a day. Amina Hassan is a mother of four ducing vitamin A and iron supplements, who earns a living by selling tomatoes counseling on how best to feed young and onions along the road side in Bunju. children and other family members, and I met Amina recently and she looked so treatment for malnutrition. Mwaituka is of the opinion that every sad as she waited for customers. “My children feed once a day because district should budget for and recruit a I don’t make much money from this busi- nutrition focal person who has overall reness. The little money I earn does not sponsibility for the delivery of nutrition meet my family’s needs,” she said bitter- services for children and women. At the same time, safety nets and social cash ly. transfers must reach vulnerable According to Amina, feeding pregnant women and chilon one meal per day has bedren under the age of two come the order of the day so that resources reach in her family that her them at the most children are now critical age for enused to it. They go suring good nutrito school not tion and health thinking of havdevelopment. ing more than Every childone meal. hood developCuddling ment investment her little baby is another imporshe was carrying, tant aspect as Amina said; “As children from you can see my poorest communibaby is healthy but ties are at greater she’s not feeding Agriculture Minister risk of diseases and well, but l have no Stephen Wassira malnutrition. They also choice because my indo less well in school. come is very low. Life is be“Parents in the poorest coming more difficult every communities should get help to make day,” she lamented. Amina earns between 2000/- and sure their children get the best start in 3000/- a day and it is from this meager in- life. And support for the community come that she is supposed to save for all based parenting and early childhood deher family expenses including rent and velopment programmes will help ensure children grow up healthy” said Mwaituka food. Early childhood programmes focused Since health care costs are too high, Amina and her children drink boiled on the poorest families help parents to provide a better start for their children Muarobaini (neem) to avoid falling sick. “My source of income is low and the and help close the gap between the rich money I earn is not enough to carter for and the poor. Investment in early childall my needs. So what l do to avoid falling hood gives a seven fold return and are sick is drink “muarobaini” at least one much more cost efficient than investing glass per day. It really helps. For my kids in remedial programmes later in a child’s l give them two spoons every week,” she life. Parents in the poorest communities explained Amina wishes she could get a loan to should get help to make sure their chilhelp her improve her business. She calls dren get the best start in life, and support upon the government to make sure that for the community based parenting and loans are accessed by many people, espe- early childhood development procially women so that life can be manage- grammes will ensure children grow healthy, are well nourished and well preable. “l am not that educated but l fail to pared for school. A national in-service training prounderstand our government because l remember very well how the president gramme for practitioners should be espromised that we will have a better life tablished. Priority in training should be but nothing has changed. In fact life is given to those working in the poorest becoming more difficult every day,” communities. Local committees should be established at district and ward levels Amina noted. Think life is hard for Amina because that will monitor the availability and she is a single mother? She is not. Her help improve the quality of early child husband, Hassan Ali is a car washer. Ali hood development centers. Priority should be put in the followearns 3000/- per day but still the money is not enough because he has extended ing areas. Investing to save the lives of children and women, good nutrition, betfamily to take care of as well. “On weekends l try my best for my ter hygiene, sanitation and health facilikids to get three meals, but sometimes it ties, early child hood development, qualigets really hard. l wonder what kind of ty of education for all children, making life this is that l am living. l really want- schools safe, protecting infants and adoed to start a reasonable business but l lescent girls from HIV, ,reduce teenage have failed. I know my life cannot change pregnancy, protect children from violence and l have accepted things the way they and exploitation and children with disabilities. are,” explained a despaired Ali. If this is done, our children will have Justa Mwaituka from Kiota for Women's Health and Development (KI- a better life and become resourceful leadWOHEDE), says there is a need to invest ers of tomorrow.

The Guardian KILIMO KWANZA

Tuesday 12 October, 2010

NEWS

New irrigation technology for Ryangubo farmers

Tea farmers in Tarime turn to Tobacco and Marijuana farming By Bhoke Msama

By Angel Navuri

The solar powered water pumps are a blessing to farmers who can not afford electric water pumps.

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By Felix Lazaro ARMERS in Mkoma village in Mara Region will soon be producing more, thanks to a new irrigation system to be introduced by the Ryangubo Irrigation Farmers Association (RIFA). About 150 farmers will benefit from the wind turbine technology that RIFA intends to install to generate electricity to run the electric water pumps used in irrigation. This is the second technology that the association is introducing since it was established in February 1994. The first technology, which is currently in use, is the windmill pump. The introduction of the wind turbine means improved farming and production for RIFA farmers. This will be a major development for RIFA farmers who have come a long way in their search for improved farming. These farmers established RIFA as an initiative to address drought problems caused by climatic changes that hit Tanzania between 1980s and 1990s. This was a time when rain was unpredictable, hence crops in farms dried and seeds never germinated due to lack of water. The situation was so risky among farmers who depended only on rainfall, as harvesting remained poor with the majority starving of hunger and thirst. As a result, in 1994 about 100 Mkoma

The wind turbine will soon replace the windmill technology which is currently used to generate power to run electric water pumps for irrigation.

villagers met to discuss on how to find a solution to these problems. The only immediate solution was to start irrigation farming since Lake Victoria could provide water for the activity. The problem was how could the starving villagers with no technology get water from a number of kilometers away to their farms? The challenge was however solved when one of the villagers came up with the idea of getting a pump that could help getting water from the lake to the farms. “I introduced the idea that it was better if we used the windmill pump to get water from the lake to irrigate our farms, but this was still a challenge as we had no money. The solution we thought was to form an association so we could write a proposal and get money from donors,” explains Robert Matiku, RIFA’s Managing Director. The association managed to get 39m/from the Britain Tanzania Society in the United Kingdom. This was followed by a feasibility study done from 1998 to 1999 in Suguti Musoma Rural. The study proved that the use of the windmill pump could help the farmers and a report was submitted to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The money enabled the farmers to build a tank with a capacity of 160,000litres at Mkoma village which was connected to 350 PVC pipes to transport water from Lake Victoria to the farms which were two kilometres away. This was a relief to the farmers as they could access water for both irrigation and domestic use.

Matiku says although this technology helped the farmers, there were some challenges like low pumping speed compared to the needs and that there was more water loss as the water was transported from the tank to the farms as only open fallowing irrigation system was used. This was a problem endured from 2001 to 2003 when proper channeling of water using pipes was introduced. The farmers’ hope to address hunger in their area was still in question due to low capacity of the windmill pump. A more advanced technology was needed as an alternative. This necessitated the ongoing plan to introduce the wind turbine to generate electricity to run the electric water pumps. This source of energy can pump 10,000 to 50,000 litres of water in an hour depending on the wind speed. According to a study done by RIFA, the area of the project can have wind for six to eight hours which means more water would be available for farming and domestic use. “With such pumping speed of the wind turbine, the 160,000 tank litres can be filled within three hours unlike the local windmill pump which takes three days to fill the same tank, which is too risky for the farmers,” Matiku says. To irrigate 40 acres of the land currently under RIFA project, 144,000 litres of water are needed per day. Apart from pumping more water in a day as compared to the wind mill, another advantage of using the wind turbine is that it is free from ongoing operating costs. This

is something that farmers can afford since it only requires wind to operate unlike other pumps that require electricity, diesel, petrol and even gas as sources of energy. The wind turbine has been widely used in developed countries like the Netherlands, the United State of America and Denmark. In Africa it is used in South Africa. Studies show that a wind turbine investment pays for itself most quickly when most or all of the power is used on the farm, since the farmer is saving power at a retail price, rather than selling it at a wholesale price. A well-maintained wind turbine can last 30 years and hence it can be a profitable investment like any other long-term investment. RIFA is currently working on getting a 100m/- bank loan to facilitate the acquisition of the new technology. If obtained, the money will also be used to finance other project related facilities such as the construction of the pump house along Lake Victoria for the security of the electric pump, buying electric pumps, a tractor, building crop storage facilities, pipes and milling machines to avoid wastage of maize and rice after harvesting. The money will also be used to fix machines and pumps when needed. The plan is to have 60 hectares under irrigation annually and if successfully installed, the wind turbine technology will ease the burden on women and children who currently walk long distances to fetch water.

Country’s irrigation capacity yet to be realised By Felix Lazaro DESPITE having countless opportunities for irrigation, Tanzania has been performing poorly in the sector. This is due to the fact that irrigation is mostly undertaken by small holder farmers with little knowledge of agricultural water management, it has been established. Only a few large-scale farmers undertake commercial agriculture using efficient pressurized irrigation systems like drips, centre pivot and rain-gun. Tanzania is second in Africa after the DRC for large volumes of water resources but is currently only able to irrigate one per cent of its potential irrigable land of 29.4 million hectares. The country’s abundant fertile land only lies idle as waters from Kagera, Mara, Rufiji and Pangani rivers to mention but a few remain unutilized. Tanzania has also been blessed with numerous basins and plains.

The Head of Agricultural Engineering at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Prof. Valerian Silayo says the existing irrigation infrastructure in Tanzania is still poor and inappropriate causing the overall water use efficiency to be very low at an average of 15-20%. In his paper “Promotion of Irrigation and Value Addition for Increased Profitability of the Tanzanian Agricultural Sector” Prof. Silayo says most of the irrigated areas in Tanzania are undersurface irrigation and water distribution is usually by line and unlined canals and furrows and basins. Sprinkler irrigation is used by a few large-scale commercial farmers. “Localized irrigation, in particular drip irrigation has only just begun to receive attention and is currently popular among commercial farmers on coffee and tea plantations including horticulture crop production but is rarely used by smallholders,” says the professor. Prof. Silayo says the 1 per cent

Tanzania potential area for irrigation is small compared to countries like Egypt which irrigates 77% of its irrigable land, Kenya 29% and South Africa 100%. Prof. Silayo says the total water extraction in Tanzania mainland in 2002 was estimated to be 5,142 million litres which were only about 6% of the internal renewable water resources. Agriculture was consuming more water. Agriculture consumed the largest share with 4,624 million litres which accounted to almost 90% percent of the total water extraction as compared to the world average of 70% and 86% for Africa. Statistics show that among 4,624 millions litres, 4,417 million litres are for irrigation, 207 million litres for livestock and 493 million litres for domestic use. Almost all irrigation water on the main land is surface water and groundwater utilization is 0.2 of all irrigated areas. In his 2008 paper “Why Developing Countries need Dramatic Increase of Water

Resources Productivity”, Prof. Mwandosya says the total irrigated land in developing countries in 2003 was 207,965,000 hectares against the total world area of 277,098,000 hectares, the area was about 17% of the world land but provided 40% of the global food. However the National Irrigation Master Plan of 2002 shows that the total irrigation potential of Tanzania is about 29.4 million hectares with different suitability levels. A total of 2.3 million hectares contain high potentiality, 4.8 million hectares have medium potentiality while 22.3 million hectares have low potentiality. Mr. Dunstan Mrutu, Executive Secretary of the Tanzania National Business Council says the key factors that must always guide policies is that success in agricultural transformation will only come when the Tanzanian farmer is able to get the most crops for each drop of water, pointing out that irrigation systems have played a significant contribution to food security in countries like Sudan and Egypt.

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VETA introduces affordable solar powered water pumps

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By Bhoke Msama nvesting in irrigation development is one of the effective means of increasing and stabilizing food and cash crops production. It is in this regard that one of the Kilimo Kwanza partners, the Vocational Educational and Training Authority (VETA) came up with the economical solar powered water pumps for irrigation. The aim being to help even the small holder farmers who can not afford to irrigate their farms using electric water pumps given the high electricity tariffs. Availability of the affordable water pumps would in turn see more and more irrigable land used unlike is the case at the moment. Studies show the country’s irrigation potential as being estimated at 2.1 million hectares in mainland Tanzania and

By Miki Tasseni

JUST what sort of reforms are needed on the law relating to land holding, so that chronic problems facing different groups of land users are resolved is as yet unclear, as a certain convergence seems to be in the making, but within a profound diversity. A certain event is a case in point, organized by the Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP) where two significant ideas were raised, first in the main proposals by TGNP and its close pals from Hakiardhi, the land rights lobby. Then there was the US envoy. The latter’s remarks were focused on the need for assurance of land ownership (unless it actually meant occupancy) rights to women – and media reporting focused on ’ownership’ which was a bit excessive. It is unlikely that the US envoy, despite being an African-American, would actually have wished to delve into technicalities of land laws and in what reform direction they need to be taken up, but chances are that he is concerned with poor access for women. They produce most family food but are too insecure. In other words there was probably no suggestion from the US envoy about land ownership as such but rather access to land, for instance in case the family head dies, and close relatives – who inherit the land on the basis of the customary law regime – have other ideas. The same would apply to a family house they occupy if no title deed has been made

8,521 hectares for Zanzibar. However, it is only 290,000 hectares of the area which is under irrigation farming. Irrigation farming is important especially when the drought effects are observed and can pose a key threat to food production in the country. It is through irrigation that high and stable yields can be obtained. VETA’s solar powered water pumps can be used for both small scale farmers and medium scale farms. The solar powered water pumps can also be applicable in semi urban communities where water is scarce and becomes a major hurdle for the farmers to run their day to day activities. The pump is ideal for water for irrigation purposes in the rural areas and it is also economical for the communities living in absolute poverty that depend on farming to earn their daily bread. Know who innovated the pump? It’s not a Mzungu but an instructor with VETA,

Edmund Mrope. He did this in his quest to ensure that a majority of Tanzanians benefited from irrigation farming and enjoyed increased income for their households. The machine has a pumping capacity of 90 litres per minute, which can manage to meet the irrigation needs of a small or medium farm. Mr Mrope says using the solar powered water pump can help the farmer to cut electricity costs or the costs of manpower which would have previously been used as an alternative way of pumping water into the farm. He says farmers can incur fewer expenses when using this type of water pump as it only requires minor maintenances and repairs compared with the other machines. The solar powered water pump is also environmental friendly. “We have invented this machine to ensure that every house hold has an opportunity to access it at a much cheaper price and

enable them to increase production while at the same time increasing income and food security for the families and their respective communities,” says Mr Mrope. VETA is striving to publicize the irrigation pumps to farmers through various channels including exhibitions. Mrope called upon other key players such as learning institutions, financial institutions and the media among others to support VETA in its quest to fulfill its mission. VETA was established by the act of parliament of 1994 to guide the vocational education and training system in Tanzania. The institution’s role is coordinating, regulating, financing, providing and promoting vocational education to the people in need. VETA’s technicians have been working into various innovations which are aimed at making lives for the majority of Tanzanians easier and the solar powered water pump has been one of the major breakthroughs.

Three years ago, a tea project was started in Pemba, Nyakato, Sirari and Mwema wards in Tarime district, giving farmers hope of a bright future. Through the project, the farmers expected to say good bye to poverty. Today these farmers wish the project was never introduced. Despite embracing it with both arms by doing their best to make it a reality, these villagers are now poorer than never before. The government had promised to build two tea factories in Soloneta and Nyasoricho areas and assured the farmers that market would not be a problem. Unfortunately, the areas selected for the construction of the factories remain untouched today while tea rots in the farms. Out of despair, some farmers have resorted to tobacco, marijuana and horticulture farming of which they are assured of getting their daily bread at least. The tea project chairman and trainer, Mr. Emmanuel Mwichale says lack of factories and markets have been hindering farmers from earning an income from tea production. According to him, two years have passed since the government promised to build the factories but there is no sign that the factories will be constructed any time soon. The government had told farmers to expand their farms before the factories could be built. Some farmers did so and are now frustrated that the government has not kept its promise. Instead, the government has only been providing the farmers with agricultural inputs such as fertilizers for planting, water canes and money maker pumps for irrigation to mention but a few. Baisanako Matiko is a tea farmer with nine children. He depends solely on agriculture for a living and is therefore among the farmers who have a beef with the government. Like many other farmers, Matiko fulfilled the government’s condition to expand their farms before the factories were constructed. “When this project was launched in this village, the government promised to give us a factory and help us with markets. As you can see, I uprooted almost 2800 coffee trees to give way for tea. Today the tea is ready for processing and I have already trimmed it more than three times waiting for the construction of factory which we don’t know when it will be built,” says Matiko. He said that agricultural officers visited his farm and promised that every farmer who would trim the tea once while waiting for the factory’s construction would be paid Tsh 5000 but until today the farmers are still waiting to be paid. Juma Magige has 18 children and three wives and he depends on agriculture to take care of his family. He blames the government for contributing to his poverty. “What we are trimming down is the money and the government is telling us

Activists, donors seeking midpoint ideas in land law reform project

out in favor of the widow, as brothers come first in the right to inheritance. The logic is that it is within clan land, and thus the woman can’t ‘marry’ a man into clan land! The problem about inheritance of land is keeping ‘purity’ of the clan on the one hand, and ensuring that interests of heirs on a customary law basis prevail, including right of disposal of that land as they see fit. A similar situation is underage marriages of young girls arranged by their fathers in particular, which the breath of women rights lobby sees as oppression of women – which is true. But finally it comes down to the same situation as with land rights, that is to prevent pregnancy, carting a kid unrecognized by a clan. That is one problem with land laws and women’s rights which it is unlikely that gettogethers which start from the viewpoint of gender can actually come to comprehend, or produce viable suggestions as to how it can be changed. Women’s access to land or inheritance of houses for instance doesn’t

need a change in the law or custom – as custom can’t be changed – but in relation to commercial access. If a woman purchases a piece of land and builds a house that will be hers as no clan issue arises, so it works. What however was closer to land rights per se and in relation to ensuring productive activity was the TGNP proposal in that gettogether, where it was suggested that land titles be issued to cattle herders so they can be assured of grazing land. It wasn’t the first time that the suggestion has come up, and in a way it represents a rather oblique mode or outlook on the problem of land rights as a whole, as the securing of land rights for grazing is a bit audacious. It facilitates and then constrains the same herders. What is surprising about that suggestion is that it is strangely quiet about ownership of land by villagers – and their ability to put such land to the market when it is mapped out (surveyed) and they have title deeds. The emphasis among activists and

donor agencies is still to ensure that villagers control their land against encroachments for instance in big biofuel projects that are being purveyed by the day by TIC and other investment agencies, including chambers of commerce. They wish for villages to retain land titles. So the question is why there is a thrust to cattle herders owning (or being assured of rights to land by title deeds) why the same isn’t being suggested for villagers – having to crowd as part of villages? The answer may be twofold though it hasn’t been clarified or otherwise been made sufficiently clear to those who listen from outside. One aspect is that cattle herders tend to be more individual in character and thus each may have grazing land, or within a family or clan of users of land for grazing, respectively. The other aspect is that it is the grazing land which is undefined in the Village Land Act of 1999, and thus it becomes easy to forbid the use of this or that area for that purpose. In recent years herders have been

shifted from more habitable or usable pasturelands into rather negative tsetse infested areas in Lindi Region in particular, the principal reason being that they had no valid claim to residence –herding – in Kilombero, Ihefu or other valley areas. If they were registered on that land would they have remained? In legal terms it is possible to suggest that activists are trying to create non-existent customary law, as herders passing through a district that isn’t their ancestral place cannot become bona fide occupants of that land, since they are likely to move. And creating such rights inter alia means forfeiting the right to move, as such right can’t be created each time a herder moves – unless activists model the ‘bill of rights’ of herders all the way, to bend tradition in that direction. One has natural access only to ancestral land. Just how important these suggestions are likely to come up when the new government takes office shall depend on demands of Kilimo Kwanza as it touches on both

that they can’t build the factory until the farmers expand their farms. We have tea which is ready for harvesting, but we have nowhere to sell it. This way we farmers will never walk away from poverty,” said Magige. He said in 2009, the government promised to compensate farmers who had tea which was ready for sale but never did so. Turuka Marwa is a farmer in Gitenga village, Mboji ward. Like Magige, he also blames the government for causing poverty among farmers. He said the only way to survive in the agricultural sector is by modernizing agriculture and that the government was letting them down. He is of the opinion that farmers should be allowed to sell their tea in Kenya. “If there is no factory or markets in Tanzania why did the government establish this project? We should be allowed to sell in Kenyan because the tea is ready and we have nowhere to store it.” Marwa said He also thinks it would be wise if the government allowed farmers to cultivate marijuana rather than let them suffer with one cash crop (tea) which does not help them improve their life standard. Charles Turuka also a farmer says; “The district has no cash crop compared to others and this causes confusion to farmers. The government should identify one cash crop for farmers to concentrate on so they can at least to improve their income. Here in Tarime we produce maize, coffee, tobacco, tea, cassava, millet, marijuana, bananas and vegetables.” Turuka said. He says many farmers have now shifted to marijuana and tobacco because they are more beneficial than other crops like tea or maize. In Kyoruba village more people are now producing tobacco because many companies from Kenya provide them with agricultural inputs as motivation to continue producing the crop. Clarifying on the matter, the agricultural officer for the tea project, Tobias Kangarawe said the government can not construct the factories without being sure there would be enough tea for processing. He said about 500 hectares are needed for the construction of the factories and that tea farms should not be less than 300 hectares in order to attract investors to invest in the tea project. “The construction of the factory goes with encouraging farmers to increase the sizes of their farms in order to attract investors. An investor can not build a tea factory without being sure of getting enough tea for processing. Currently, what the farmers here can produce is loss than ten tones which are not enough,” Kangarawe said, adding; “I accept that the project is growing very fast and farmers will need a factory in future but they should cultivate more tea to meet investors’ demand first,” he said. For farmers who have tea ready for sale, he said there was a plan to help them sell their tea in Kisii Kenya while they wait for the factory construction.

groups. There is a problem of the reduction of hunger and poverty in relation to women, as part of food self-sufficiency needs, and then solving acute problems confronting herders, though policy in that direction is a bit fluid. Once rain is regular on any area which they occupy, pressure is lessened, but if it fails, it is hard to see occupancy titles helping. In that sense a sort of policy implication convergence arises, that no real pressure shall be placed on the new government as regards women’s rights since those who are in a position to exercise such pressure are in a position of owning land, or houses, commercially. Those who are part of villages don’t claim land access rights in order to plant food crops –as that is definitely within their rights, or even on the basis of clan needs generally. It can’t be said that a clan will sell land and let its children starve, for lack of access. In that case there is a glaring weakness to tie the issue of land rights for women to producing food for the family, since that isn’t where it is located, but rather in the mobility of property and access to land as property for women. In that aspect no limitations exist as to women owning land in the sense of buying a piece of land for instance in urban areas, but activists don’t have commerce in mind, but destabilizing and eroding customary law in that area. But so long as clans exist, only clan law can be used, not gender.


The Guardian KILIMO KWANZA

Tuesday 12 October, 2010

NEWS

8

Tanzania losing billions of shillings in horticulture production

T

By Lazaro Felix

ANZANIA has been losing millions of dollars every year by underutilizing its huge potential in horticulture production. Tanzania’s potential is higher than most African countries but it is yet to take advantage of the business that is increasingly becoming a source of foreign exchange earnings and job creation. The Executive Secretary of the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC), Dunstan Mrutu said at a recent engineers’ meeting on Kilimo Kwanza that the country had a wide range of agro-climates suitable for the production of tropical, subtropical and temperate fruits, vegetables and spices. However, Mrutu said in many of these agro-climatic zones, the available production potential was grossly under utilized. “For example, Tanzania has the potential to produce 2,000,000 metric tons of fruit worth at least one trillion shillings or about one billion dollars. In addition to fruit, approximately 1,200,000 metric tons of vegetables can be produced annually valued at 600bn/-,” Mrutu said. Mrutu said in spite of this huge capacity, Kenya has been doing better as far as horticulture exports are concerned. At a time Kenya exports horticulture amounting to USD 1.7bn, and employing 500,000 people while Tanzania exports horticulture amounting to USD130m employing 30,000 people. “These are crops with the highest job creation capacity and a combination of high export earnings,” he said. Fruit and vegetable exports are on the rise and increasingly becoming an important source of foreign exchange earnings.

Fruit and vegetable exports are an important source of foreign exchange earnings

Mrutu said in the view of the private sector, the strategy for horticulture expansion must be market oriented. “In other words, all activities and programmes need to be predicated on crops and market chains for which there is a demonstrable market. Horticulture is not production driven. Markets need to be conceived as actual entities ready to buy and the driver for production,” said Mrutu. He noted that the consumption of fruits and vegetables was less than half of the recommended rate and said more should be produced. The average consumption is about 30 kilograms per capita in urban ar-

eas and about 17 kilograms per capita in rural areas. Mrutu recommended nutrition education and promotion of fruits and vegetables as nutritional crops since this would facilitate increased demand and hence increased production. Mrutu anticipates that horticulture would make the largest contribution in the transformation of Tanzania’s agriculture. However, he said this will only be possible with the extension of the runway at Mwanza airport to link with Arusha and Kilimanjaro International Airport for air cargo combination of horticulture and fish. The completion of Mbeya airport is an-

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other requirement plus cold storage infrastructure for the realization of the potential in the southern regions. In its 2002 study on Horticulture Development in Tanzania, The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives states in part; “To-date modern horticulture is a multimillion dollar business in advanced countries such as Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, United States, Japan and China.” The study goes on saying that in Africa, South Africa takes the lead followed by Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. It also says that Tanzania has the highest potential in Africa in horticulture production but that this potential is yet to be realized. Commenting on fruits and vegetables investment in Tanzania, a don in the Department of Agricultural Engineering and Land Planning at Sokoine University of Agriculture, Prof. Valerian Silayo said this was a highly marginalized area that had not managed to attract investors. Prof. Silayo said even the few industries that exist like Natural Choice and Dabaga were not operating as expected. “The large plants under the defunct National Milling Corporation collapsed soon after privatization or have changed business,” Prof. Silayo said. It’s outlined in the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 that through agriculture, the government will be able to reduce the proportion of those living in poverty by 50 per cent by 2010 and eliminate poverty by 2025. However, this will only be realised if all the ten pillars of Kilimo kwanza adopted to enable the country achieve a green revolution will be implemented as planned. This way, it will also be possible for the country to fully utilise its potential in horticulture production and therefore earn the millions of dollars it has been losing in the business.

Power tillers lie idle in Tandahimba District

By Angel Navuri, Tandahimba

AS the government pursues measures to eliminate the use of the hand-hoe by making power tillers available at lower prices, most farmers still find them too expensive to afford. In areas like Tandahimba District in Mtwara Region, the majority of farmers don’t find the tillers useful at all since they cannot afford to have them. Out of the available 50 power tillers in the district, only 12 have been given out to the farmers so far. The remaining 38 lie idle in the District Commisioner’s office compound with farmers claiming that apart from the high price, the tillers cannot handle the hard land in their farms. However, the District Commissioner, Asna Mwilima says the tillers will be issued out after the general elections scheduled for October 31. According to farmers interviewed, the machines are not strong enough for their type of land which has become hard having not been cultivated for years. The price of one power tiller stands at 3,800 US Dollars (over 4.5m/-) but goes up due to additional optional equipment attached such as water pumps and paddlers. “We can’t deny that the government is trying to help farmers, but the power tillers are not strong for this type of soil and the fact that many trees have to be uprooted. The power tillers have been lying here for so long as farmers are not interested. At the same time they are too expensive,” said Khalid Omar, a farmer. Omar advised the government to distribute the power tillers to areas where farmers can make good use of them. He added that the power tillers are not given to individual farmers but to groups,

so they can pool resources, but still farmers find the price too high. Neither does the fact that the Tanzania Investment Bank (TIB) is offering loans to farmers through its Agricultural Projects Financing Window seem to help matters. TIB gives guidelines for “specific terms and conditions” to borrowers, for instance, a borrower must have acceptable legal status, e.g. they should be members of cooperatives, SACCOS, Micro-finance Institutions and Associations. According to Omar the farmers are unwilling to borrow the power tillers because the price is too high. The government setting aside 120bn/-, which according to Finance Minister Mustafa Mkullo (pictured), was allocated to Kilimo Kwanza” during 2009/10 financial year. The agriculture budget is 666.9bn/meant to help the farmers do away with subsistence farming. Tandahimba leads in cashew nuts production and according to Mwilima, the expectation this season is to harvest over 30 tonnes of cashes nuts. In 2005, 42,673 hectares were cultivated and these have been expanded to 71,453 hectares this year. A total of 9bn/- was earned in 2005 and the expectation is making more than 20bn/- this year. Ninety five per cent of farmers in the district depend on cashew nuts farming and market is not a problem since they sell their cashew nuts to cooperatives. Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said recently that the government has continued to address challenges faced by farmers to different degrees in collaboration with various stakeholders. Farmers in Tandahimba hope the government will soon come up with a solution to the power tiller problem so they may be able to improve their farming.

BODI YA PAMBA TANZANIA

KUMBUKUMBU YA MIAKA KUMI NA MOJA YA BABA WA TAIFA

Mwenyekiti wa Bazara la Wakurugenzi, Menejimenti na Wafanyakazi wa Bodi ya Pamba Tanzania wanaungana na Watanzania wote kuadhimisha kumbukumbu ya miaka kumi na moja tangu Baba wa Taifa Hayati Mwl. Julius Kambarage Nyerere atutoke tarehe 14 Oktoba, 1999.

Utakumbukwa kwa mengi hasa msisitizo wako katika kuimarisha Uchumi, umoja wa kitaifa, amani na usawa kwa binadamu wote bila kujali rangi, cheo, taifa au kabila la mtu. Pia utakumbukwa kwa msimamo wako wa kuhakikisha mali na rasilimali za taifa zinasimamiwa na Watanzania wenyewe kwa faida ya taifa.

743 Mindu Street, West Upanga, Ilala, Dar es Salaam P.O. Box 5496, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Tel: +255 22 21 51457 • Fax: +255 22 2151458 • Mobile: +255 773 284800 Email: info@natureripe.co.tz • Website: www.natureripe.co.tz

MUNGU AILAZE ROHO YAKE MAHALI PEMA PEPONI. AMEN

Pamba House, Garden Avenue, S.L.P 9161, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Simu: +255 22 2122564, 2128347, Fax: +255 22 2112894 Barua pepe: tclb@tancotton.co.tz Tovuti: www.tancotton.co.tz

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Kilimo Kwanza: Issue 22  

This week, Guardian reporter Bhoke Msama focuses on the ever-growing sunflower farming industry in Singida, Tanzania. The abundant access to...

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