In recent decades, pastoralist and farmer conflicts in many parts of Tanzania spread violence, loss of property, massive displacement of people who were as well injured and even killed. These conflicts are nurtured with shrinking grazing lands due to pressures from the growing human population which is accompanied with need for land for arable crop farming. The government’s response is perceived by many involved people as insufficient and has even caused segregation instead of bringing the two parties together. Conflicts have potential to be the underlying power of stimulating innovation. This is the starting point where agroecology can evolve its strengths in various ways. The thinking in cycles, getting out plentiful of existing renewable resources builds on collaboration rather than segregation.
Supported by Biovision and Liechtensteiner Development Service (LED), the FPC project goal is to enhance sustainable livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists through agroecological practices in Tanzania creating a solution where both parties can create local circular economies, where everyone benefits, and conflicts are drastically reduced. The FPC project purpose is that the practice of agroecology in Mvomero and Morogoro Rural Districts by farmers and pastoralists creates mutual benefits for both parties which are increased income, balanced nutrition, reduced conflicts and strengthened climate resilience. In total 2850 farmers and pastoralists will benefit directly from the project implementation.
More efforts for the year 2017 and 2018
In 2017, over 192 farmers and 31 pastoralists received training in organic cultivation of seasonal crops. Besides that, another 131 pastoralists were mobilized and trained on sustainable livestock keeping.
From January up to end of February 2018, over 178 farmers in eight different groups were mobilized. SAT’s plan is to mobilize 250 farmers and 40 pastoralists this year.
The series of activities that will enable the project to reach its goals includes facilitation on agroecological methods that covers also trainings on organic farming methods and certification of organic farmers that is been done under Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) to enable farmers supply organic certified products to the available markets. Such trainings will be complemented with capacity building of the farmer groups, so that they gain skills in leadership, marketing and saving and lending. Special focus is hereby in supporting women who have especially from the pastoralist community reduced freedom in creating income.
Together with trainings farmers and pastoralists will also benefit from the Machinery ring component which will provide such services as Farm ploughing with SAT tractors, maize shelling machines, transporting harvests and manure to and from the farm using trailers. Farmers’ harvest will be brought to the nearby SAT Farmer Training Centre (FTC). Here products like sunflower, sorghum and maize will be processed and marketed at a good price. The residues from the food processing such as sunflower seed cake can be used for animal feed and offered to the pastoralists. In exchange for fodder farmers will have access to manure. From there, circular, mutually-beneficial economies will be established.
The exchange of manure for livestock feed strengthens again the advantages for all parties. Fertilized plots result into higher production and higher production means more available animal feed. The fodder has potential to increase milk production which goes hand in hand with new introduced or crossed breeds. Lucrative dairy business leads to reduced flocks and to decrease conflict potential.
Within the three years of the project implementation (2017 – 2019), a total of 1435 Female and 1415 Male will benefit directly from the project activities including the dry land farmers, pastoralists, projects workers and the extension officers responsible for those villages. 30,060 people will benefit indirectly, these are; the families of the farmers benefit through increased household income, members of saving and lending groups provide social funds and social security for their family members and farmers who are trained by farmers who gained knowledge at SAT FTC.
Arguments for implementing this project
- Many people argue that agroecology is important to sustain the food production in Africa but best cases with strong market components are rare.
- Through thinking and acting in cycles pastoralists and farmers can benefit from each other.
- Agroecological practices can impact the value chain in a positive way through combining local strengths and focusing on national market opportunities.
- Morogoro is a conflict zone where pastoralists and farmers are clashing regarding land use.
- It is a social entrepreneurial project with strong model character to solve an existing social problem where only in 2015 about 50 people died in clashes between pastoralists and farmers.