For these pastoralist groups, reading and writing have become the new normal.

Find these groups of pastoralist communities, mainly Maasai ethnic under the Farmer Pastoralist Collaboration (FPC) Project located in Vianzi village, Mvomero District. These small groups of pastoralists are primarily engaged in pastoralism as a major socio-economic activity, but a scarcity of grazing lands plus climate change impacts has resulted in confrontations and violence between the two communities (pastoralist and farmers) as a result of an increase in the human population, which is accompanied by a need for land. However, with the adoption of agroecological technologies, the exchange of farm inputs and bi-products made it possible in reducing conflicts through a circular economy approach. With the application of the agroecological best practices in the production systems, the two parts are benefiting from increased productivity and livelihood.  

The first phase of the FPC project had an impact. Most pastoralist communities now have the ability to grow their own pasture for their livestock, and confrontations with farmers have decreased. Another biggest challenge confronting pastoralist communities is illiteracy, which is extremely high in these communities due to the fact that most of them had no formal education. It is forbidden for women, in particular, to have formal education, but circumstances have changed, and pastoralist women now desire to school.

Pastoralist communities receiving training on proper cow milking, animal welfare, quality control, hygiene, and post-harvest and transit management

Meet Mkombozi pastoralist group, a group of pastoralists with about 31 members, 25 of whom are women and 6 of whom are males, who are keen to know how to read and write. Mkombozi pastoralists are undergoing adult learning training to master the fundamentals of reading and writing. This group was established in early 2019 and started receiving training on livestock keeping, pasture production and saving and lending modules. Mkombozi pastoralist group is one among the groups forming the Namayana milk cooperative association, which requires low literacy among its member groups to ensure the quality and sustainability of the milk cooperative. In June 2020, a group of adults began receiving adult learning training. The group has grown in strength since then, with the majority of its members now being able to read and write.

Mariam Paulo, on the other hand, has piqued our interest in this piece. At Kichangani Village, Mariam is a member of the Mkombozi pastoralist group. But what distinguishes her the most from others?

Mariam Paulo, who is 57 years old and a single mother of five children, is a role model to many. She exemplifies how perseverance and hard effort can lead to success. Mariam’s never-ending attempts to learn to read and write truly inspire us all. She joined the group in the middle of 2019 after discovering that many of her friends are now active in agroecological practices and are benefiting greatly from the initiative. Mariam describes the difficulties of being an elderly woman who is unable to read or write.

“I have to wait for my daughter to get out of school and read me the doctor’s medical description,” she says.

She was once at the hospital and was unable to understand the instruction wall poster, so she did the exact opposite of what was asked.

This sparked her interest in learning to read and write so she could avoid the embarrassment and understand minor details simply by reading. As a result, by 2020, some of the groups in her village were receiving adult learning training, and she was aware of it. Mariam was self-motivated to study before training began at her group, so she walked long distances to learn from other groups far away from her homestead. For example, she walked about 2km to the Mafanikio Pastoralist group then to the Namayana Pastoralist group at Menge sub-village 9km from her place in order to start learning.

Mariam Paulo at Mkombozi Pastoralist group, reading in front of the group.

When the training at her group began in June 2020, she already knew the fundamentals of reading and writing from neighboring FPC pastoralist groups. She has been attending all of the training sessions and completing all of the exercises assigned to her since then. She became one of the best students of the Mkombozi Pastoralist group as a result of this, and she can now read any article and write a few sentences by her own. Mariam also motivates the other members in her group, and now the majority of them are keen to learn, and thus the group is gradually progressing.

Mariam explains, “I no longer need to rely on my daughter to read to me. Even if my eyesight is poor, I can see large signs on the road or in the hospital.”

Mariam has also had success with her livestock. She has raised her livestock production to 27 cows and 60 goats using agroecological technologies, after starting with only two cows and three goats. She also has a 2-acre plot of land where she raises cows and grows pasture. She also took a loan of 300,000Tshs from her savings and lending group in March 2020 and invested it in the town’s small shops. In 5 months, she generated a profit of about 700,000Tshs and was able to repay the debt and spent the rest of the money to buy more goats.

Mariam reading the training manual on proper milk production.

In order to comply with milk market standards and quality control, Kichangani pastoralist communities are now receiving training on proper cow milking, animal welfare, quality control, hygiene, and post-harvest and transit management. Pastoralists in these and neighboring dryland areas got together to form two milk cooperatives with the objective of supplying the SAT Holistic Group Limited and Shambani Milk as the first milk market channels through the SAT FTC’s Milk processing unit.

The FPC Project is implemented by SAT and funded by Biovision

A BACKYARD KITCHEN GARDEN CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Meet Roza Moina, a 40-year-old married woman, who has found success in organic farming prior to joining the farmers’ group in 2020. In Chamwino district, Roza lives with her five children in Nzali village, Roza has relied on buying veggies from local markets as her family’s primary source of nutrition for many years. This has been difficult because she is spending the majority of her savings on these vegetables, which are not nutritious because of the manner they are produced. She realized that her children needed a healthier diet and more nutritional support and conventional farming was not doing it. So, she joined the Wilunze Farmers group, which is under the “Dodoma’s Women in Agriculture and Business Initiatives” project (DWABI).

Roza Moina in her backyard kitchen garden

Roza was reliant on this way of living because she had no knowledge about organic farming or how to start a kitchen garden. Roza has always been interested in farming and small business. During the harvest season of 2020, she harvested 25 sacks of sunflower. As a result, it was difficult for her to increase her income and save money. She spent more money on basic household needs and ended up with very little savings.

So when she joined the group, Roza received training on organic agriculture production of seasonal crops and establishment of kitchen gardens, entrepreneurship, and savings and lending. In 2021 Roza increased her yield after harvesting 10 sacks of groundnuts and 30 sacks of sunflower in a 5-acre land. The sales of groundnuts and sunflowers netted her 2,280,000 Tshs, this is due to the organic agricultural skills she gained from the training. Roza fully embraced these organic agricultural methods, which allowed her to improve productivity, provide healthier food, and raise her revenue due to the market’s premium prices. She plans to harvest significantly more this year than the previous seasons, but illness is one of the challenges that result in lower yields.

Roza selling vegetables to her neighbors from her home.

As part of her training, Roza started a kitchen garden at home. It started out as a way for her to provide healthier vegetables to her family while also lowering the amount of money she spent on them. She later realized that it had the potential to be a life-changing enterprise. She began growing amaranths, spinach, Chinese, and sweet potato leaves. The kitchen garden has provided a new source of income while also reducing the cost of purchasing vegetables, allowing her to save more money and improve the health of her children and herself.

Roza joined the farmer group’s saving and lending platforms as part of her training, and she has saved up to 160,000 Tshs. She uses the loan she receives from the group to invest in her small businesses. Roza manages a small restaurant and sells vegetables grown in her kitchen garden as well as those grown by the other farmers in her cooperative. From January through July, Roza’s local restaurant and vegetable business generated 1,400,000 Tshs in sales.

Roza at her small restaurant preparing food

Roza is one of the DWABI Project’s beneficiaries. She says, “Organic agriculture and the kitchen garden have completely transformed how my family and I live. We live in arid climates, so finding fresh produce is difficult and expensive. But now that I’ve had this instruction, I’m able to feed myself and my family “.

DWABI Project is kindly supported by Australian Development Agency and ICEP

In Memory of Mzee Hugo Kunguru

Forever In Our Hearts

Dear SAT family and friends,

With great sadness, we regret to inform you on the passing away of our dear senior staff and member of SAT Board Mzee Hugo Kunguru after a short illness. He was admitted at the Morogoro Regional Hospital and passed away today (4/8/2021) in the morning.

We are all deeply shocked by the tremendous loss of our beloved Mzee Hugo who was the longest staff of SAT. He joined us in 2010 and throughout his dedication and commitment to organic agriculture and work with communities all over Tanzania and beyond.

We are working with the family to prepare the funeral. We will have a mass at Kigurunyembe Catholic Church in Kilakala and travel to Songea for burial.

We join his family in this difficult time and pray for his soul to Rest In Peace.

Our offices remain closed until 23rd August.

With deepest sympathy,

SAT Board and Team

Jackson Pallangyo Memorial Scholarship

Asali Society Tanzania is offering five scholarships to attend a short course on Organic Agriculture at the SAT Farmer Training Center (FTC) in Morogoro. The Organic Agriculture basic course will be conducted in October and November.

To be a part of this scholarship, all you have to do is like and comment on the Asali Society Tanzania Facebook page on a post about this scholarship with not more than 200 words in Swahili or English or a direct message indicating when you plan to attend the course and explaining how you will use the knowledge after this course.

All lucky candidates will be contacted and other instructions will follow. Jackson Pallangyo Memorial scholarship covers transport to Morogoro from anywhere in Tanzania and the full course. In memory of Jackson Pallangyo, a great trainer, who passed away in a road accident in 2020.

Learn more about our courses here

GOATS CHANGING LIVES AND FARMERS COMMUNITIES

Farmers receiving goats during the first day of distribution

On 12th of May we visited Doris Yohana, one of the beneficiaries of the “the Dairy Goat Project ” in the Uluguru Mountains. When we arrived, we found Doris’ and her family waiting for us. They instantly told us that their new baby goat was sick, having wounds and scabs around its muzzle and mouth. We immediately diagnosed the kid with ORF, a very common disease in Tanzania among small-scale farmers. But before revealing how this story ends, let us explain how Doris got her goats in the first place.

THE DAIRY GOAT PROJECT

Did you know that having a goat can increase your health and income? On the one hand, goat milk diversifies the diet of farmers and their family. On the other hand, surplus milk can be sold at the local market, and processed into high priced goods like butter. For this reason, SAT started to collaborate with Echo and Bothar with the training of farmers in February 2021. Where by 1st of May, 23 dairy goats were distributed to farmers in four zones of the Uluguru Mountains, Morogoro (Ruvuma, Tulo, Kisosa, Choma).


The final goal of the project is to scale-up the number of goats hold by each farmer, and therefore provide more financial security. This is achieved by distributing female goats to 19 families in the first step, while keeping one buck in each zone. After the goat has given birth to six kids, three of them are given away to other farmer families, who previously did not receive a goat. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the farmers and the facilitators, 30 farmers have benefitted from the project to this date. By doing so, the project strengthens the farmers’ communities and their solidarity. With our project, we hope to build the foundation for a long-term positive change.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO ORF

Let’s come back to the story of Doris and her kid. Since the disease ORF is common, it can easily be identified and cured. Together with Doris, our veterinarian treated the kid by using organic methods: Warm water mixed with salt. The wounds of the kid were cleaned carefully for three consecutive days. As ORF is a virus and spreads easily, the mother’s udder got infected during the kid’s suckling of milk and had to be treated, too.

Both the mother and kid could successfully recover and get back to good health. This experience is shared in the village for other farmers to learn and use incase they face similar problems.





The project is implemented by SAT in collaboration with ECHO under BOTHAR Funding

Join us receiving the One World Award

It is a great pleasure to invite you to receive with us the One World Award (OWA) which is handed over during an online ceremony on 26th April, at 5pm (CET). The Award honours people and projects who make our world a better place. Hence, we are very delighted that Janet and Alex with their work for Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania are among the winners. 

SAT Team with the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture Hon. Gerald M. Kusaya

Inspired by the experience and the success of the Hand in Hand fair trade program, Joseph Wilhelm and Rapunzel initiated the international “One World Award” (OWA) in 2008. The underlying thought of the award is the notion: We all live in one world. With IFOAM, the International Federation of the worldwide Organic Farming Movement, Rapunzel found an ideal partner. Coordinator and Chairman of the OWA jury is Berward Geier, former Managing Director of IFOAM for 18 years. 

During the online award ceremony, you will meet next to us the other fabulous winners which are Arava Institute (Israel), Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (Mexico), Global Ecovillage Network (International), and Organic Denmark (Denmark) and the OWA Lifetime Achievement winners Tomoko and Yoshinori Kaneko from Japan. 

 For joining the event online, visit the One World Award Homepage, with using this link 

For downloading the official invitation use this link 

The event is taking place on 26th April, at 5pm (CET) and we will be very happy to see you on Zoom! 

A Social Business that Brings Organic Agriculture to the Forefront

Last year we took the initiative to register SAT Holistic Group Ltd. The social business will be soon co-owned by small-scale farmers and is affiliated with our organization. The business provides for our farmer’s lucrative markets and boosts as well the organic uptake in the local market. Learn more how SAT Holistic Group Ltd will bring change to the country by visiting the brand-new homepage 

Uluguru Spice Project Impact to small-scale farmers



Spices are a common ingredient in many dishes across our continent and we love them due to the rich flavor, color, and taste.  As it is known, spices are also a lucrative cash crops making the spice business.
 
But what about small-scale farmers, are they able to produce high-quality spice products, increase their productivity, and access a premium market for their produces?
 
The Uluguru Spice Project was initiated for farmers living in the Ruvu River catchment area along the Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania by facilitating knowledge of sustainable cultivation methods as well as marketing strategies with the main focus on spice production and trade. The project goal is Small-scale farmers, organised in a cooperative, are practicing organic agriculture, protecting through this the sensitive catchment area and benefiting from price premiums and value addition which changes their livelihoods in a positive and sustainable way.

As a result, over 1500 farmers from the Uluguru Mountains, 172 model farmers from other regions, and 31 governmental agricultural extension officers have benefited directly from the Uluguru Spice Project.

USP Farmer success story: Meet Mr. Ramadhani Sanda

One of the farmers who have benefited from the project is Mr. Ramadhani Sanda, a small-scale producer. In 2016 Ramadhani and his fellow farmers joined the USP Project through Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) with the expectation to make a proper living out of farming with the hope to increase productivity and quality of his crops.

Mr Ramadhani in his farm harvesting cardamom

Mr. Ramadhani told us that before joining the USP Project he was able to harvest 5 kg of cardamon, 35 kg of cinnamon and 70 kg of black pepper. After improving his cultivation practices, he is now able cultivate on the same land 10 kg of cardamon, 70 kg of cinnamon and 200 kg of black pepper. The reason he mentioned was lack of knowledge in cultivation but as well of not having the motivation to fully utilize his land due to missing market opportunities.

With introducing spice production as farming as a business, Ramadhani has increased his productivity to a higher level and used the returns wisely to reinvest in his business. Last year he added to his 2.5 acre another farm with 1.3 acres where he now practices mixed cropping, integrated in an agroforestry system with cultivating cardamom, cinnamon, pepper and now even vanilla. As soon he will start harvesting the crops it will be another boost of his income. Next to vanilla he also perceives cardamom production as a new lucrative field which is promising a good market. Farming as a business pays off he witnesses with explaining that next to buying land he constructed as well a new house for his family which he proudly equipped with a solar panel (100W) for electricity supply.

What Technologies did he use to increase his yield productivity?

Knowledge is key to succeed in agriculture. During the project Ramadhani has learned agroecological technologies. To increase his productivity Ramadhani manages the soil fertility through composting and manure application. He uses selected planting material, practices proper spacing of seedlings and manages diseases and pests with botanical plant extracts.

Ramadhani says “Organic way of farming is the future! Many of my friends and I have adopted to agroecological of farming as it has helped us to produce quality products in good quantities and also to protect the environment.” He is proud that his success in agriculture has inspired 5 farmers in his village to start with organic farming.

Now, with producing the wished quality and soon the quantity the farmer even hopes to further gain from practicing organic agriculture. In December 2020 Ramadhani has become a founder member of the farmer cooperative CHAUWAVIMU where he acts as marketing committee member on zonal level. He expects that through this step they will find better prices through joint marketing efforts. He furthermore knows that being organised in a cooperative will allow them to become organic certified for the export market. Currently Ramadhani and his fellow farmers are preparing for external inspection which will take place in June.

The importance of having right data for farmers about their produces

Most of the individual farmers in Tanzania produce very little quantity of crop produces, have no access to premium market, no bargaining power and have no knowledge of the quality standards required. Now having information about the quality and quantity of their produces can help change this all.

Having the right information is the most powerful tool in many processes, the same goes for agriculture. Information and data are very important things for a farmer to have a successful harvest and business.

“Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.”  
Edwards Deming, Statistician

Spice farmers under the Uluguru Spice project II need valid data about their production so as they can have clear picture of the possible outcomes in harvest and therefore to meet the demand of the hungry market.

How can farmers get this information?

During the Spice farmers workshop at Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) Head offices in February, which was facilitated by SAT facilitators, farmers learned step by step how they can use different tools to collect and summarize information of their produces.

SAT Staff explaining to farmers about filling the forms for data collection.

The workshop was attended by 21 farmers, including farmers from different spice farmer groups together with their leaders.

SAT Professional explains

The workshop aim was that with this information collected, farmers can have secured and well-paying market for their organic produces. Since data is at the core of such endeavors it is important for farmers to know efficient ways in collecting data. The information collected will be amount of yield in the previous and coming season so they can know what type of crops are doing great, the time period expected for harvest and also the type of crops they planted. SAT builds hereby on a hybrid approach which combines modern components like smartphones with ordinary record keeping like feeling forms. Organized in WhatsApp groups farmers can  make pictures and send information about their produces from their respective farmer group supply and share it within their cooperative network. This helps them have a strong negotiation position to agree on lucrative prices.

What specific areas to focus on?

Data will be collected from farms that are within the Ruvu river catchment area along the slopes of the Uluguru Mountains. The shared data includes an estimate of the expected harvest, age and quantity of the trees, and expected harvest time.

This project is supported by Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation, and Land Vorarlberg.

The Certified Way to Organic Agriculture

Every year our farmers plant and harvest their fruits, vegetables, and spices, amongst other things. Their crops, once harvested, are then marketed and sold under an organic label. How can we be assured that these crops are organic? They must go under a certification process – specifically under “Kilimo Hai”.

The Certification-Production system is focused on quality assurance based on certifying producers and active participation of stakeholders to build trust and social networks, and foster knowledge exchange.

At Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT),  we encourage our farmers to be certified under the Kilimo Hai Certification which is offered by Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM), so the farmers could access and enjoy the benefits that come along with the certification. 

The certification process begins with the mobilization of farmers and the formation of groups. These groups are instructed directly by facilitators from SAT or through F2F (farmer to farmer) facilitators. Through their training, they are made familiar with organic production and good practices, as well as activities conducted by SAT in collaboration with farmers and TOAM representatives.

Afterward, the groups are sorted based on a few different criteria

  • Needs of the group.
  • How actively are the members participating in group activities.
  • The quality of leadership portrayed by their leader.
  • Marketing challenges faced by the group.

This process means grouping the farmers according to their production needs and capacity which serves as a primary point that boosts their productivity. They are then trained thoroughly on:

  • Organic farming.
  • Standards on Organic Farming (EAOPS) and Compliance.
  • Participatory guarantee system (Peer to Peer Assessment) and how it works utilizing established committees within the groups.
  •  Collective marketing.
  •  External assessment and certification.

The certification process has attracted more farmers over time:

·         In 2019 the number of certified farmers was 835 with an expectation of certifying 1245 farmers (763 spice farmers and 482 as vegetable and fruits producers) by the end of this year.

·         There has been an increase in land involved in organic farming from 525.6 acres in 2019 to 1062.3 acres in 2020

All this was achieved after the farmers:

·        benefitted from premium price for their products, which attracted new farmers to undergo the certification process.

·         were ready to learn and spread awareness about organic agriculture.

·         saw the increase in their income from the value addition on the sales of their product.

·         were able to minimize the cost of production and maximize profits

Through this process, we are thereby able to continue achieving our goal of stimulating soil and environmental conservation which is our agroecological goal in practicing organic agriculture.