On November 13, 2017 SAT hosted its Annual General Assembly & Agroecology Forum at the SAT offices in Tushikamane Centre, Morogoro. In total, 235 participants attended the assembly comprising of SAT Board members, SAT staffs, representatives from the government and the Sokoine University for Agriculture (SUA), representatives from farmer groups and organisations such as PELUM and SUGECO.
SAT’s CEO-Operations Mr. Alexander Wostry welcomed the assembly, introducing the Board Members with Chairperson Professor Method Kilasara from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA).
Mr. Wostry summarized the project work 2016 which depicted the facts on growth from 2015 to 2016, project impacts that has been tracked through surveys and the positive outcome of the ByT project which reached 12,029 people in total. He emphasised that SAT facilitated 2,004 local farmers in 72 farmer groups in organic farming methods till end of 2016. As well as 1,347 participants who attended 61 courses at the SAT Farmer Training Centre (FTC) in Vianzi since its opening in September 2013. Infrastructure improvements at SAT FTC included a well with a depth of 150m and the construction of a sealed water reservoir with a capacity of 13,000m³. He further mentioned that SAT has signed a contract with telecommunications provider TIGO Tanzania where 60 representatives from different farmer groups are going to receive smart phones that will enable them to share products and marketing information.
SAT’s Financial Report 2016 was presented by SAT Accountant Mr. Edson Malele who highlighted the total revenue of 973,826.37 US$. The expenditures totalled 506,284.24 US$, leaving a balance of 476,542.14 US$ in 2016. SAT total assets at the close of 2016 had a value of 789,336.83 US$ in total. Questions from the audiences were addressed, then followed by comments and words of encouragement and advice from Board Members. SAT Board Chairman Prof. Kilasara thanked SAT for all the initiatives taken in promoting Agroecology in Tanzania. He also emphasised the importance of Participatory Research an initiative that SAT has been doing since 2014.
SAT Programme Manager Ms. Prisca Kimaro introduced project plans for 2017. The upcoming projects include the Uluguru Spice Project (USP) in Morogoro, the Farmer & Pastoralist Collaboration (FPC) Project in Mvomero District, the Sustainable Environmental Schools (SES) Project which is a School Garden Project at 7 schools in 4 different regions in Tanzania and the Microfinance Project Sustainable Development through Financial Security (SDFS) based on Saving & Lending services.
The Agroecological Forum opened with a presentation by SAT M&E Officer Mr. Yohana Haule summarizing the results of six participatory researches that were conducted in collaboration with SUA students and small-scale farmer groups.
Local Government representatives addressed the forum, thanking SAT for assisting with their training and outreach efforts in the region.
Afterwards, SAT Board Chairman Prof. Kilasara welcomed the Guest of Honour Mr. Clifford K. Tandari, Regional Administrative Secretary of Morogoro (RAS), who was also among the guests during the Agroecology Forum. Mr. Tandari appreciated the efforts of SAT in the dissemination of agroecology among farmers in Tanzania and promised to support SAT in introducing an organic market in Morogoro.
SAT has touched the lives of over 2,600 farmers in the past years, and four were selected to give their stories at the forum. All gave a testimony on how agroecology has changed their lives and on how they benefited from the SAT training programme. The farmers explained that they could increase their poultry and vegetable production while others started small businesses after the entrepreneurial training.
SAT then awarded nine farmer groups for good attendance and performance with credits that can be used towards farm supplies and equipment. The Guest of Honour together with SAT Board chairman Prof. Kilasara handed over the prizes to the respective winners. The Best Farmer Group of the Year, Vijana Amkeni from Mfumbwe was chosen because of their activeness and eagerness in applying sustainable farming practices that they have learned during the SAT training programme. As well as their creativeness and efforts in starting small businesses in their village.
Prof. Kilasara closed the Form, thanking the participants of the Assembly and congratulated the farmer groups awarded by SAT. He further welcomed all participants to join the 4th Workshop for Participatory Research Design (WPRD) that will take place at SUA Campus on the 2nd of December 2017.