Health is Wealth: SAT’s mission at Nane Nane

Staying healthy in mind and body is a result of many things. The amount of exercise we do, the genes that have been passed on in our family, frequent medical check-ups and perhaps most importantly what we put in our body. Not only regarding the foods we eat, but also regarding how those foods are made and processed. “Staying healthy is the beginning of everything”, insists Adrian Barnabas, one of SATs facilitators as he stands infront of the very green, very busy and 100% organic showcase, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) has prepared for the annual Nane Nane event.

It is the fifth day of Nane Nane and there is, as always, a steady flow of visitors to the Sustainable Agriculture showcase. Nane Nane is an annual celebration that recognizes the contribution of farmers to the Tanzanian economy. It runs for 8 days, with agricultural exhibitions running in different regions across the country, it all culminates with a national holiday, on the 8th of August. The agricultural sector provides a living to around 80% of Tanzania’s workforce, while accounting for 26.7% of the country’s GDP. A part of this agricultural economy is courtesy of SAT, which is one of the first organic movements in East Africa.

Adrian Barnabas and the rest of the SAT workforce has been preparing the SAT field for the exhibition since late June up until the end of July. Their mission? Spreading awareness around organic agriculture both to farmers as well as to their customers. Adrian is a proud ambassador of agroecological farming methods and their benefits, “We want people to be drawn to our work and spread it across Tanzania and then other countries”, he mentions.

SAT has a variety of different technologies and farming techniques on display at the Nane Nane grounds. These range from techniques making use of demonstration gardens, animals and even stoves. For this year’s exhibition we have introduced the “Jokofu La Asili”, the only technology of its kind available at Nane Nane. The “Jokofu La Asili” acts as a cold room of sorts, using materials easily available to farmers and locals such as burned bricks and sacks to create an eco-friendly “fridge”, which farmers can use to store their produce so that it stays fresh long after harvest.

SAT’s demonstration garden at the Nane Nane grounds country wide welcomed 1020 visitors in Dodoma and 2448 visitors in Morogoro. Professor Mgula from Sokoine University of Agriculture was one of the many visitors in Morogoro, impressed with the work SAT is doing he stressed the need for more farmers to be educated on the importance of Organic Agriculture.

“Many of our farmers are not knowledgeable about the topic and they are not aware of the effects of using pesticide, they just want to kill insects, not thinking about the effects to their customers or even themselves in the long run,” Professor Mgula said.

SAT is a proud member of the Agricultural sector and a proud pioneer of the organic movement in the country. With every person educated on the benefits of organic farming, we believe we can make Tanzania and the world a better place.

You can learn about our farming practices by registering for our Farming Training Courses. Click here for further details.

Time for change: SAT gets a new logo

About ten years ago Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania was born through the initiative of a few university students. Since then SAT has changed a lot.
Today around 80 employees contribute to the successful work of the organization. Together with small-scale farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural field we promote agroecological practices which allow farmers and pastoralists to live a decent life and reduce the pressure on natural resources and ultimately mitigate climate change. Having grown in the number of areas we are working in and having developed as an organization we think it is now also time to change our visual appearance. For this reason, we designed a new logo.

However, our growth and success would not have been possible without the support of many. This is why we would also like to say thank you to you today for accompanying and supporting us on our way. Asanteni sana!

New SAT Logo 2020

Dear partners and donors, you can download the new logo here.

CISTI presentations during 2020 joint meeting of the Agriculture Training Institutes

This year, the annual joint meeting of the 29 Agriculture Training Institutes (ATIs), both private and public, took place in Morogoro from 29th to 30th of June. For Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) this meeting also meant an important next step for the Curriculum Implementation Support for Training Institutes (CISTI) project, as presentations about the project’s progress were made to the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Agriculture and all ATI Principles. Through the CISTI project SAT supported the coordination and planning of the meeting.

Group picture of the Joint Meeting of Agricultural Training Institutes

On June 29th, the meeting was an internal one between the PS and all Principles of the 14 Ministry of Agriculture Training Institutes (MATIs). Presentations and discussions took place on the matter of the current status of the curriculum implementation, successes and how challenges can be tackled, but also on how MATIs can become financially independent in the future.

On June 30th, the actual joint meeting of MATIs and PATIs (15 Private Agriculture Training Institutes) took place. This meeting focused on the direction of CISTI and on a sustainable review and implementation of the curricula. For the first time, the new Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Agriculture (since March 2020), Gerald Musabila Kusaya, has attended and chaired the meeting. At the high table the following people took their seats:

  • Dr. Wilhelm Mafuru (Director of Training, Extension Services and Research Division, DTER)
  • Janet Maro (SAT, CEO Programme)
  • Hilda T. Kinanga (Director of Administration for Human Ressources Management, DAHRM)
  • Moses Kabogo (Lutheran World Relief, Senior Country Program Manager, Tanzania)
  • Mahija Waziri (National Council for Technical Education, NACTE)

Presentations about the CISTI project progress

For our CISTI project, this meeting was an important meeting, as the project has entered its second phase. After a successful year 2019, where it was in a pilot phase, the project is now fully ongoing for the next three years (2020-2022). It aims to support 29 Agricultural Training Institutes, both public and private, to successfully implement and integrate organic farming, gender in agriculture, environmental management, cooperatives in agriculture and communication skills in the new training curriculum for agriculture production on certificate and diploma levels.

During the meeting, our Project Manager Mgeta Daud presented about the expectations and the roles of ATIs. Afterwards, Kashindye Salum, the Assistant Project Manager, presented the preliminary report on the labour market needs survey to inform the review of six curricula which are: a) crop production, b) horticulture, c) irrigation, d) land use planning, e) food production and nutrition, and f) agro-mechanisation. This report was based on a survey SAT carried out among employers, graduates, farmers and professionals which involved personal visits and online questionnaires. Godfrey Edward, the Curriculum Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, presented twice: first, about the sustainable strategy for reviewing curricula used by ATIs; and second, about the proposal by the Minister of Agriculture of introducing a one-year internship for the students to gain practical experience. Afterwards, a fruitful discussion on these topics took place.

 

2020 Update for CISTI project

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, new ICT equipment is being purchased in preperation to implement the Distance E-Learning Training. One set of equipment for every ATI, one set for the SAT HQ and one for the Ministry. This offers plenty of new opportunities, as it allows for some of the trainings to take place online. In the future, this will save resources, both in time and money, as people do not have to travel far distances from all ATIs spread across all Tanzania. At the moment, compendiums and manuals are being developed for new modules: Principles of Co-operatives in Agriculture for National Technical Award level 5 and Basic Communication Skills for National Technical Award level 4.

CISTI is kindly supported by LED Liechtenstein Development Service (funding) and the United Republic of Tanzania, Ministry of Agriculture (coordination).


SAT’s organic products now available in Dar

Flyer about organic fruit basket ordering in Dar es Salaam by Wild Flour company.

Training farmers in organic agriculture is great, but building up awareness about organic food and creating new markets has as well importance.

(Alexander Wostry, SAT)

A new step for SAT

Tuesday is a busy day in the SAT Organic Shop. Small-scale farmers drop off fresh vegetables and fruits which have been pre-ordered a few days before. However, this time the products will not stay in Morogoro, their final destination is still a few hours away. After being carefully sorted as well as washed, the fruits and vegetables are packed into big cartoon boxes using as much as possible organic packaging material such as dry gras and banana leaves. In an average week the shop staff packs six big boxes with over 25 different fruits and vegetables (bananas, oranges, pawpaws, avocados, tomatoes, onions, fresh ginger, carrots, amaranths…) worth a total value of around TSH 500.000. Once every product on the order list is ticked off, the boxes are brought to the Morogoro bus station to be sent to Dar es Salaam. At the moment there are all in all three deliveries per week and even more often, if the demand is higher.

This is a new step for us as an organization, but also for our organic small-scale farmers. You can now get SAT’s organic, healthy and fresh products in Dar es Salaam without even ever leaving your house. We have partnered with I Am Organic which is currently located within Wild Flour Café and Bakery. I Am Organic offers a weekly fruits basket service, whereby they deliver a standard or family size basket full of our fresh organic fruits to your doorstep every Wednesday. You can sign up for the weekly service via the Wild Flour App or if you prefer you can simply walk into the café and pick out your fruits – they are located on Chole Road at the Slipway junction in Masaki. They also sell our organic vegetables and other products, so make sure you visit them.

Organic food basket from I AM ORGANIC
Organic food basket from I AM Organic

How to scale organic agriculture

The foundation stone for where we are today – that we can now sell our organic products even in Dar es Salaam – was laid already a few years ago. We were looking into possibilities to connect our organic small-scale farmers to the local and national market, where organic products could be sold for a premium price while never losing its traceability: Consumers should know where the products they buy come from. We started with a small SAT Organic Shop here in Morogoro in 2012. Scaling up and improving this market link was always on the agenda since then. Further important steps were taken within the Farmers and Pastoralists Collaboration project in 2017, when we strengthened the whole vegetable value chain with the kind support of Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development and LED Liechtenstein Development Service. The next step in the future would be another organic shop in Dodoma to meet the fast-growing demand of organic producers and consumers.

However, the idea is bigger than “just” creating a linkage to the market for our farmers. By selling organic products we also want to raise awareness and sensitize customers for agroecological farming and sustainable agriculture – and this cooperation now allows us to do exactly that by selling the products of our farmers in Dar with I AM ORGANIC, which is a project by Coral Tree Ltd. in collaboration with Wild Flour, TOAM, SAT and SWISSAID TZ. The latter provides the financial support. This technically well-equipped consortium shows that cooperation and cocreation are promising approaches to scale organic agriculture in Tanzania.

We want to offer and promote wholesome food products that have minimal environmental impact, are authentic and traceable, that use the best of traditional know how, are healthy, simple, innovative and artisan. We believe that through this partnership with Swissaid, SAT and TAOM, we can achieve that.

(Johanna Omere, I AM Organic)

If you live in Switzerland, Germany or Austria you can also order our organic spices online.


Participatory Research Design: Bringing farmers and young scientists together

A lecture hall at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) full of young scientists developing ideas for their Bachelor and Master thesis. So far it would be nothing special if it weren´t for a few rather unusual guests: farmers and pastoralists of the Morogoro region. Each year the Workshop for Participatory Research Design connects farmers or pastoralists with young researchers and thus initiates a new cycle of the Farmer Centred Research Programme (FCRP), which emerged a few years ago from the close collaboration of SAT and SUA. Farmers and pastoralists present their current challenges and offer their local knowledge. From there students use their research skills to find solutions for their challenges together with the farmers.

Farmer speaking at Workshop for Participatory Research Design
Shakaile Kolea, a pastoralist from Mkajuni village, speaks about challenges at the Workshop for Participatory Research Design.

The problem of the fall army worms

Martha Makumba, a young woman, is one among eleven bachelor students from SUA who received a grant through the FCRP in 2018/2019 to conduct her research. After farmers expressed their problem of fall army worms being a big obstacle to their productivity in the 5th Workshop for Participatory Research Design, she decided to look further into that issue. Her research had the overall goal to assess the resistance of local maize seed varieties to the invasion of fall army worms and the use of environmentally friendly pesticides as control mechanisms. During the following weeks she observed that the improved seed variety called “Tumbili” performed better compared to farmer managed seeds and that neem powder worked better as an organic pesticide than moringa. Although Martha Makumba recommended to use improved seed varieties one farmer decided to extend the research.

Farmers contribute to research findings

Mwombeck Cleophace is a member of the Tushikamane group in Kimambila village which was formed in 2017 in the course of the Farmers and Pastoralists Collaboration Project. He is also one of the Farmer to Farmer facilitators who pass on their knowledge to other farmers. Mwombeck Cleophace decided to extend the research in his village by visiting ten farms with improved seeds and ten farms with farmer managed seeds. Contrarily to Martha Makumba, he observed that improved seeds were much more affected by fall army worms compared to farmer managed seeds.

And the research goes on…

To us, we can draw two conclusions from this: First, it shows us how engaged and motivated our farmers are beyond our project activities. They can see that this research helps them to create a sustainable and well working agricultural system at their farms. Secondly, it also shows that different research analysis can provide different results. Another sign that we need to invest more time into long-term research to better understand the specifics of the seeds and their resilience towards the fall army worm.

Maize (improved seeds variety) severly affected by fall army worms
Improved seeds variety affected by fall army worm
Maize (farmer managed seeds) not affected by fall army worms
Farmer managed seeds

Everything about pest management using organic methods you can also learn at the SAT Farmer Training Center. The courses of 2020 are online now.

The Farmer Centred Research Programme in collaboration with the Sokoine University of Agriculture is kindly supported by Liechtenstein Development Service. Numerous other organisations finance the grants for the students.

Logo of Liechtenstein Development Service

Book now: our course schedule 2020 is online

We are happy to announce that the training season at our Farmer Training Centre has started.

On our organically managed farm in Vianzi we have plenty for you to experience. In fourteen different courses you can learn hands-on agroecological farming as well as value addition practices. In our opinion “learning by doing” is the key for a successful training experience, therefore we use a participatory training approach in all of our courses. For the first time we also offer a course on post-harvest management.

SAT is a leader in the field of ecological organic agriculture in Tanzania and has a lot of experience in capacity building and training. Our organization is internationally recognized and appreciated. Last year, almost 800 farmers, pastoralists and representatives of NGOs or governmental insitutions attended our courses.

This year’s training schedule includes the following courses

DateCourse
29th June – 3rd July 2020
5th October – 9th October 2020
23rd November – 27th Novemeber 2020
Organic Agriculture Basic
26th October – 30th October 2020Organic Agriculture Intermediate
30th November – 10th December 2020Organic Agriculture Advanced
20th July – 24th July 2020
3rd August – 7th August 2020
Animal Production Basics
21st September – 25th September 2020Conservation Agriculture
9th November – 13th November 2020Food Processing and Value Addition
2nd November – 6th November 2020Natural Medicine
28th September – 2nd October 2020Organic Spice Production
24th August – 4th September 2020Permaculture Design
10th August – 14th August 2020Sustainable Waste Management and Composting
13th July – 17th July 2020
12th October – 16th October 2020
Training of Trainers
17th August – 21st August 2020Attract Youth to Agriculture Camp
7th September – 11th September 2020Entrepreneurship and Agribusiness Development
7th December – 11th December 2020Post Harvest Handling and Management of Agricultural Produce
For further information and the application form please click on the respective links. Please note that our training schedule is subject to change due to variable course attendance.

Additionally, we also offer tailor-made courses for NGOs, educational institutions,… If you are interested, please get in contact with us and we are happy to discuss your ideas.

We are looking forward to welcome you at our Farmer Training Centre.

Dormitory FTC
Karibu SAT Farmer Training Centre

Job Vacancy at SAT

Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) is a grassroots organization with registration number 00NGO/R/0833. SAT works closely with small-scale farmers on organic farming and stakeholders like universities, companies, and government extension officers. Its holistic approach is built on the four pillars dissemination, research, application, and networking. An exciting opportunity with this dynamic and fast-growing organization awaits the right candidate. This is a busy, high-volume but friendly environment that will suit an organized and professional person with a passion for organic agriculture, community development, a great eye for detail, and plenty of team spirit.

Job Title: Communications and Resource Mobilization Manager
We are looking for a highly motivated and creative communication manager who loves portraying the work SAT is doing. The person should have an interest in organic agriculture, likes to create stories with words and pictures to inspire people for the work of SAT.

The communication manager is responsible for conveying Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania’s (SAT) internal and external messages. He/she will communicate SAT’s activities and achievements to the organic movement and other relevant stakeholders. Internal communication shall increase collaboration, cohesiveness, and team spirit. External communication represents the image of SAT on an international scale.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Having a bachelor’s or master’s degree in communications or marketing field (being capable to translate scientific language into English and German which can be understood by not-scientific people).
  • Having a passion for agroecology and organic farming
  • Having a passion for creating a positive impact in our world
  • Being proficient at working with others
  • Having excellent communication skills in English, German, and preferably Swahili
  • Having excellent writing skills in English, German, and preferably Swahili
  • Having basic software skills for layout and homepage design
  • Having Photography Skills
  • Having Research Skills
  • Being profound in proofreading
  • Having strong leadership skills
  • Motorcycle Licence

Responsibilities for this position will include:

  • To know about SAT activities and agroecology
  • To have adequate and updated promotional material available
  • To update homepages (SAT, NLO, and SAT Holistic Group Ltd) and regularly used Social Media
  • Regular Newsletters monthly
  • Develop Marketing materials for promotion and sale of SAT FTC training
  • Grant and Proposal Writing
  • Fundraising
  • Planning and Reporting
  • Maintaining Customer and Donor Relationship
  • Public Relations and International Relationship Management
  • To contribute to Mkulima Mbunifu (MkM) magazine Develop a yearly plan for the communication department (incl. Budget)
  • Prepare internal and external communications plans and policies
  • Monitor progress and activities of the department (e.g. Activity plan)
  • Research and prepare relevant subject matters, write speeches, and prepare presentations
  • Reporting and Progress Updates
  • Attend meetings and read project reports to be aware of the current activities
  • Proof-reading of project reports

Job Title: Assistant Communications Manager

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative assistant communication manager who loves portraying the work and impact of SAT through powerful stories and strong imagery to inspire people. The person should have an interest in organic agriculture, sustainability, and communicating to varied audiences.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, Public Relations, Journalism, or any other relevant field
  • Experience in working in communications in a reputable organization
  • Proven record of successful communication to all levels of education and understanding
  • Being able to convey complex information into layman’s terms
  • Ability to write proposals for grants and fundraising
  • Strong passion for sustainable agriculture
  • Excellent communication skills in English and Swahili
  • Publishing Cooperative Newsletters monthly (Swahili)
  • A strong ability to connect with people and work in teams
  • Excellent social media skills
  • Have basic software skills for layout (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator) and homepage design (WordPress)
  • Photography skills
  • Being profound in proofreading, editing, writing
  • Motorcycle License strongly recommended
  • Ability to go to difficult locations

Responsibilities:

  • Public Relations
  • Creating awareness of SAT by overseeing communication channels and upholding brand image through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube)
  • Advertise SAT Farmer Training Courses, FairCarbon4Us, and other relevant consulting services
  • Research and prepare relevant subject matters, write speeches, and prepare presentations
  • Reporting and Progress Updates
  • Attend meetings and read project reports to be aware of the current activities
  • Proof-reading of project reports
  • Guide the preparation of the annual report
  • Planning and Monitoring
  • Communication Report (bi-annually)
  • Media Coordination
  • Develop a yearly plan for the communication department (incl. Budget)
  • Prepare internal and external communications plans and policies
  • Monitor progress and activities of the department (e.g. Activity plan)
  • Writing articles for Mkulima Mbunifu, our farmer magazine
  • Weekly Field Visits in different project locations

Applications must be sent in soft copy to hr@kilimo.org. CV including current contacts of three references, media portfolio, copies of relevant certificates, transcripts, motivation letter all submitted before 1st February 2021. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.

Job Title: Fleet Manager

We are seeking a highly motivated Fleet Manager who will passionately oversee the maintenance, repair, equipment installation, and daily vehicle turnaround, and operation, so that SAT may be able to distribute their products or render service effectively at a minimal cost. A Fleet Manager who will be responsible for the management and development of the members of the fleet team, and an ambitious leader who will drive the fleet team into achieving the goals set and daily tasks.

Skills Demanded

  • Bachelor in Transport and Logistics Management, or any relevant field
  • Min 2 years working experience (fully employed)
  • Valid Driving License preferably class C.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills: A fleet manager is a skilled negotiator, an active listener, and an agile speaker and writer where vendors and all levels of employees are concerned.
  • Computer and software skills: In addition to email, instant messaging, spreadsheet, and word processing apps, he is familiar with fleet-specific programs like route navigation software and logistics and supply chain software.
  • Finance and accounting literacy: A fleet manager needs to understand how to read a balance sheet and how to establish a departmental and fleet budget.
  • Ability to supervise staff: With overseeing transportation, he supervises and critiques the work of other employees in a variety of roles.
  • Understanding of what is under the hood: A fleet manager needs to understand vehicle systems, mechanics, and technology sufficiently to authorize repairs and accurately evaluate the work of employees involved in maintenance and repairs.

Knowledge of applicable laws and regulations: He is well-versed in the environmental and safety laws, regulations, and rules that are relevant to the fleet department.

Key Responsibilities

  • Plans and heads the operations of the company garage and vehicle fleet.
  • Develops and maintains efficient performance standards, procedures, and policies.
  • Assures accuracy of parts inventories.
  • Develops and maintains Fleet Department budget.
  • Directs repair, service, and maintenance of company vehicles.
  • Develops and supervises vehicle preventive maintenance schemes.
  • Reviews periodic repair procedures to ensure completeness, accuracy, and efficiency.
  • Recommends vehicles meant for replacement and arranges for necessary disposal or auction.
  • Interviews, trains, and disciplines subordinate staff members.
  • Directs supervisory staff in the planning of driving, automotive repair, and maintenance jobs.
  • Investigates vehicle accidents, negotiate for any possible settlements, and authorizes any repairs or maintenance of company vehicles.
  • Drives if necessary, for the organization.

 

Job Title: Driver

We are seeking a driver who has: 

  1. A valid driver’s license
  2. Good Eyesight (or wearing appropriate glasses)
  3. 3-year driving experience
  4. Extensive knowledge of the operating area
  5. Excellent organizational and time management skills
  6. Exceptional interpersonal skills
  7. Good verbal communication

To carry out the following duties and tasks fo SAT:

  • Transporting staff/equipment/guests to the field
  • Transporting clients from airports to hotels and vice versa
  • Delivering packages to customers on time.
  • Interacting with clients, farmers, and staff in professional conduct.
  • Picking up office purchases or other administrative needs.
  • Finding the most optimal route.
  • Maintaining an organized travel schedule.
  • Carrying out vehicle maintenance checks, making sure that only vehicles in good shape are in use.
  • Ensuring that vehicles have enough fuel and are always ready for use.
  • Ensuring that vehicles have all insurance.
  • Arranging for vehicle repairs when necessary.
  • Working at night and on weekends.
  • Updating mileage records and prepare monthly mileage reports.
  • Driving a variety of vehicles, including motorbikes, cars, buses, and trucks.

 

Job Title:  Marketing Facilitator

We are looking for a highly motivated marketing facilitator, who will interact with our farmers and ensure that our farmers are enriched in the knowledge of organic agriculture. A passionate marketer who will represent SAT in the procurement of a variety of organic crops, and a team player who will cooperate with both the pre-sales manager and pre-sales team in achieving their goals.

Skills and Requirements

  • Has a Diploma in Agriculture or related field.
  • Has knowledge of, and passion for organic agriculture.
  • Has the ability to communicate and mobilize small-scaled farmers.
  • Is an effective communicator with great interpersonal skills which would enable him/her to interact with the farmers.
  • Have a motorbike license.
  • Have good skills in organizing field activities, follow up on the activities and write a report on the activities.
  • Has the ability to deliver tangible results from the field activities organized.
  • Has the ability to facilitate procurement of a variety of crops from the farmers.
  • Is a great team player and can co-ordinate well with both co-workers and farmers.

Tasks and Responsibilities

  1. Facilitate farmer groups to:
  • Strengthen their entrepreneurial skills (Farmers shall be able to produce business plans, keep records, market products, and organize themselves as a market-oriented group)
  • Develop cropping calendars and support them in selecting profitable and demanded crops.
  •  
  • Guarantee the best quality of products through grading, sorting, and proper packaging.
  • Assure timely and cost-efficient delivery of their products.
  1. Ensure products from farmers are linked to the SAT warehouse or source directly in the field.
  2. Guide farmers through Organic or Fair-trade Certification.
  3. Train at SAT Farmer Training Centre (FTC) farmers, youth, extension officers, and others.
  4. Conduct participatory market research.
  5. Actively participate and organize in/for agricultural fairs, workshops, and conferences
  6. Prepare monthly reports for the pre-sales manager.
  7. Meet weekly with other facilitators and managers and as well within the marketing department.
  8. Meet quarterly to develop work plans for SAT projects using OKR methods.
  9. Keep proper records of activities.
  10. Support Marketing Manager with data entry
  11. Attend job training (minimum 20 hours per year)
  12. To accompany donors and other visitors to the field to represent SAT for enhancing a positive image of the organization.
  13. To help in other projects, if needed, with technical know-how and facilitation.
  14. Any other duty assigned to you in your position.

Applications must be sent in soft copy to hr@kilimo.org . CV including current contacts of three references, copies of relevant certificates, transcripts, motivation letter all submitted before 1st February 2021. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.

Cardamom Training: How Capacity Building can Ensure the Organic Production of Spices

Currently, the demand for cardamom on the market is very high. Therefore, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) offered an agroecological training on the spice. This capacity building session in the field took place to show how the plant can be intercropped in an agroforestry system so that the slopes of the Uluguru Mountains remain or become again protected from erosion.

Mkuyuni, a small village in the Ruvu river area of the Uluguru Mountains, is not easy to reach. The drive from the SAT headquarter in Morogoro up in the mountains was already hampered due to the rain season and muddy roads. After the car was parked, another 20-minute walk was needed to reach the remote demonstration plot. This provides a brief yet important glimpse on the obstacles, such as difficult market access and poor infrastructure, small-scale farmers have to face in addition to the harsh working conditions in the mountains.

Dr. Mgembe explains how to grow and harvest cardamom

No matter if the sun was shining or rain was falling, farmers of Mkuyuni and the surrounding areas were very keen on learning about the production of cardamom. As part of the Uluguru Spice Project, this capacity building training was attended by 87 farmers from 10 different farmers groups. Two government extension officers were also present to ensure that knowledge and expertise on the highly demanded spice remains beyond the duration of the project. All attended farmers are from SAT trained peer-to-peer trainers who combined will share the knowledge with a total network of 1500 farmers over the next three years. In addition to that, we also provide further possibilities to gain knowledge on spices at our Organic Spice Production Course.

Read more about farmers who have changed their minds on organic agriculture

As the cardamom plant is rather new here as a potential cash crop, SAT invited Dr. Elias Mgembe from the Sokoine University of Agriculture as an external trainer to provide the needed expertise on how to grow, foster and harvest the spice. Only a few farmers have already cardamom plants on their fields, for many of them it is still a very new plant. However, a very promising one: The demand is very high and the supply not sufficient. Thus, farmers can get a very high profit from selling cardamom, and from the other way around the soil is protected through this intercropped perennial plant.

Dr. Mgembe explains the cardamom plant
Dr. Mgembe explains the cardamom plant

The cardamom plant: similar to turmeric and ginger and yet different

The training was held on a demonstration plot so that Dr. Mgembe could provide very practical, hands-on explanations. Actually, for an untrained eye it is not that easy to detect the inflorescence. It is quite a big plant, which belongs to the same family as turmeric and ginger, with actual capsules growing on a small part above the ground. In addition, there are three different types of cardamom plants with different needs and aspects to consider. Generally, a few characteristics can be noted, which the plant needs or has:

  • High humidity
  • Shade (50-60%), thus intercropping is helpful and it is suited for agroforestry
  • Short roots, thus a highly nutritious top soil layer is needed
  • Seedlings for propagation of plant (danger of transferring diseases too)
  • Bees for pollination

Capacity building: Handpicking ensures the best quality

Often, farmers harvest too early because they need the income from selling the spice, leading to a loss of quality. The cardamom plant needs to be harvested not only manually, but the almost ripe capsules need to be handpicked just before maturity. Thus, the spice needs a lot of work and attention. Yet, the process continues beyond harvesting as the right storage and drying process also plays an important role for the quality of the final product.

Cardamom is only the latest addition to the trainings which are part of the USP project to increase capacity building on the spices. By doing so, SAT provides the small-scale farmers with a strengthened value chain. It focusses on direct processing at the farm and product development and market access via SAT facilities. SAT pays the farmers a premium price (at least 10% more), which is mutually agreed on with the producers themselves and leads to a more secure income.

Community building and knowledge exchange as part of the USP project

Back to the training: The many questions the farmers had for Dr. Mgembe were a clear sign that there is a need and interest on the cultivation of cardamom. Furthermore, during lunch the different farmer groups could connect and share experiences on agroecological methods, another important aspect in the work of SAT. To foster community exchange and participation of farmers is an essential objective of SAT’s vision to grow sustainable agriculture in Tanzania.

Learn more about SAT’s work and vision

This project is kindly funded by Austrian Development Agency and Land Vorarlberg. If you also want to support SAT’s vision of sustainable agriculture in Tanzania you can donate here.

ADA Logo

Joint Efforts to Redress the Challenges in Drylands

From 27th February to 1st March 2020, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) hosted as part of the Farmers & Pastoralists Collaboration project a workshop on agroforestry systems in dryland areas. Through field visits, presentations on research, discussions, and group work, the participants were able to identify the main challenges dryland inhabitants are facing and suggest systemic solutions. Farmers, pastoralists, researchers, students, and facilitators jointly developed four agroforestry systems. These promising combinations of technologies are now being tested and optimised.

visiting permaculture farm in drylands
Julia Samson, a pastoralist, exchanges knowledge with the owner of the permaculture farm, Mercy Meena. The field visits conducted during this workshop provided a learning experience for everybody.

Learn more about SAT’s work and vision

“I understand: there is not a single thing in nature that does not have its value for a farm”, summarises Julia Samson, a pastoralist woman. She refers to the remarkable variety of technologies the group of roughly 20 people just admired on Mercy Meena’s permaculture dryland farm. The lush vegetable beds and crop fields around the house sharply contrast with the arid environment. All this becomes possible if only one cleverly combines various plant species and actively cares about soil and water management.

This farm visit is part of a four-day workshop on agroforestry in the course of the Farmers & Pastoralists Collaboration project. SAT invited pastoralists, farmers, soil and agroforestry scientists, students, and some of its staff members. The goal of the workshop is to outline agroforestry systems with appropriate technologies to redress the challenges faced by people living in the drylands. These systems shall be implemented, tested, researched and refined on the premises of the SAT Farmer Training Centre. Simultaneously, interested farmers and pastoralists will do their trials. Thus, they’ll contribute to the further refinement of the chosen agroforestry systems.

represantants of SUA and ICRAF discussing with farmer Mercy Meena
Soil and agroforestry scientists from ICRAF and SUA (from the right: Dr Anthony Kimaro, Dr Boniface Massawe and Dr Mawazo Shitindi) discuss opportunities with Mercy Meena on how to further improve her farm design through agroforestry.

Agroforestry is a broad term. It refers to a combined land-use system that, in any case, is based on woody perennial plants like trees and shrubs and combined with at least one more component like crops or animals. The aim is to select beneficiary combinations of species to ensure food security, nutritional balance and economic dynamism. Chosen wisely, trees, crops, and livestock maintain the material cycles, create desirable agroclimatic conditions, and diversify the producer’s source of income. At best, the planned biodiversity increases the general biodiversity on the farmlands and in the surroundings.

However, the vast amount of species leads to an incredible number of possibilities to join them. To narrow this down, one needs to answer a set of questions: What’s the purpose the system should serve? What are the challenges the producers are facing? Which are the species that withstand the given conditions? What characteristics do they have?

The participatory and interdisciplinary approach of this workshop fostered a lively exchange concerning these questions. Even more so, because the participants had very diverse backgrounds. Scientists of World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) presented the latest relevant findings and clarified the underlying concepts. Farmers and pastoralists, for their part, contributed local knowledge on tree species, insight in their challenges, and critical feedback on feasibility. SAT, finally, provided the holistic agroecological perspective.

In his presentation Agroforestry Research and Development in Tanzania, Dr Anthony Kimaro (ICRAF) explains the processes by which trees improve soil productivity. On the one hand, they increase the inputs of nutrients and organic matter, but also raise the nutrient availability for crops, and reduce the losses of soil. On the other hand, trees may improve the physical and biological soil properties and thereby enhance the moisture content. He then gives an overview of how agroforestry is implemented in Tanzania.

The background shows an agroforestry research plot run by a partner farmer of ICRAF in Mlali village. Comparing the two maize fields in the front and in the back, one can clearly see the beneficial effects of agroforestry systems.

At the end of this presentation, Julia Samson shows her wit again: “There are really no questions from my part, but I congratulate you. What I saw were all well-known trees from our environment. If we start planting them, our cattle will gain weight; you won’t believe that.” Julia, a pastoralist who practises pasture management, quickly grasped the prospect of agroforestry. Many agroforestry systems have the potential, indeed, to fight the lack of fodder in the drylands.

During the workshop, Prof. Luther Lulandala from the Department of Ecosystems and Conservation at SUA repeatedly emphasises: “Identify the challenges you want to overcome, and you will find a suitable agroforestry system for the aims you pursue.” The difficulties in the drylands are manifold and very often interconnected. Through group work, the participants pinned down the most challenging issues. There is a shortage of firewood and water, the careless cutting of trees aggravates the loss of arable land, which, in turn, increases land-use conflicts. Food and fodder insecurity affect people and livestock. Both animals and crops frequently get infested by pests. There are little opportunities for economic activities and development.

However, there are good chances that a systemic approach like agroforestry positively affects this complex situation. The workshop participants developed four promising designs that now need to prove their efficacy and feasibility.

Learn about organic agriculture at our Farmer Training Centre

During the field visit on the fourth day of the event, many benefits of agroforestry already became clear. Dryland farmers who are part of current and completed research projects of ICRAF guided the visitors through their farms, tree nurseries and animal pens. What they showed is encouraging: Their maize is strong and healthy, their animals are well-fed, and the woodpiles were abundant in cut branches of gliricidia trees. This cooking fuel is a renewable product of their agroforestry system.

This workshop on agroforestry in drylands as part of the Farmers & Pastoralists Collaboration project was kindly supported by Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development and made possible through the collaboration of World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA).

COVID-19: “We are part of the food system”

Alexander Wostry was interviewed by Biovision (Foundation for Ecological Development) early April about the current situation in Tanzania: Which preliminary measures have been introduced to prepare for the global SARS-CoV-2 (better known as COVID-19) pandemic.

“We are part of the food system. We cannot just stop working now.”

The work of SAT continues in times of COVID-19

In the interview, Alexander Wostry talks about the importance of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania during such a crisis: SAT is part of the food system and thus has to continue working. Furthermore, he explains the measures taken by SAT such as awareness raising on which hygiene measures are important considering COVID-19. This is particularly important at all SAT facilities, including the SAT Organic Shop, where renovations took place and hygiene measures were taken.

Read the full interview with Biovision here

Hand washing facilities and awareness raising at our SAT Shop in Morogoro

TipTap handwashing system

Furthermore, SAT introduced at its Farming Training Centre and in the villages where SAT is working with small-scale farmers a handwashing system called TipTap. In the Video below you can see how it works without the need to touch anything with the hands.

The COVID-19 pandemic in Tanzania

Current information on the pandemic in Tanzania can be found at the WHO website. The work of SAT continues, even tough with a few limiations. We would like to thank Biovision for the interview, which you can listen to here:


You can support the work of SAT and it’s vision of establishing sustainable and organic agriculture in Tanzania during this crisis by donating here.