Again this year, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) was present at the NaneNane exhibition in Morogoro showing off an organically grown and freshly green demonstration garden. The SAT employees have since Mid-June this year prepared this plot to look perfect for this week’s exhibition. Now, the kale, the Chinese, the lettuce, the herbs, the onions and the beetroots etc. stand green and tall, demonstrating the power of organic farming methods to the guests of NaneNane.
The NaneNane, (the 8th of August, or “eight eight”) is a national day of importance in Tanzania. On this public holiday, the nation celebrates the contribution that agriculture brings the to national economy. Since more than 70% of the population is either directly or indirectly involved in agriculture, this gives reason to celebrate accordingly. Thus, all over the country, week-long agricultural fairs are taking place where different stakeholders can display their latest agricultural technologies and techniques and exchange ideas. It all culminates on the actual holiday, August 8th.
At the SAT garden, a myriad of different organic methods are shown. Organic fertilizer is being produced in the garden through the keeping of rabbits, chicken, ducks and turkeys, with the special- designed cages directly catching the manure for use on the seed beds. Other techniques include intercropping; plants used as biological pesticides; cover crops covering a small hill showing how they protect from soil erosion and draw down nutrients from the air; the mulching lying among the crops protecting from water loss through evaporation; plant tea used as fertilizer booster; bamboo cultivation baskets that save space; the raised seed beds as well as many other things. Several representatives from SAT-trained farmer groups are present every day at the exhibition, demonstrating some of these techniques that they themselves utilize on their plots. Some of the bamboo cultivation baskets were for instance constructed by the Maendeleo farmer group.
Additionally, the SAT exhibition includes an information pavilion as well as a shop where visitors can buy organic products directly from the farmer groups trained by SAT. Besides the fresh vegetable produce, guests can also buy dried fruits such as mangoes and pineapple, spices such as cinnamon and cardamon as well as oils and powdered herbs. In addition to this, SAT also organized the hosting of different farmer groups to come to NaneNane and learn from not only the SAT stand, but from other organizations and farmers as well. Moreover, SAT received visits from representatives from all 26 farmer groups that are working with SAT in current projects. They were all invited to the SAT exhibition to see the newly adopted organic technologies at the demonstration garden. This is a great way for both farmers and SAT employees to get inspired by each other and discuss the newest methods.
Besides the Morogoro exhibition, SAT employees were also present at the NaneNane exhibitions in Lindi and Dodoma. In Morogoro, the SAT stand received a total number of 2201 registered visitors who came to the SAT stand to learn more about organic agriculture. The Morogoro NaneNane exhibition culminated in an Award Ceremony where, just like last year, the SUA pavilion, including the SAT stand, won as the overall winner. The trophy was given because of the good contribution given by the SAT demonstration garden.