Welcome to the second issue of the 2017 research series. This time we are happy to present you a study on pest control as well as two projects focusing on the market for organic products in Tanzania. In the last two months, the students were busy in analyzing their data and writing the reports. Here are the brand new results:
Diamondback Moth is an important pest of crops from the family of Brassicaceae in Tanzania. It’s damage to cabbage results in crop losses and low marketability due to the contamination of the heads with larvae and feeding damage. To minimize output losses, farmers widely use synthetic pesticides. Therefore, this study aimed to explore organic measures to control Diamondback Moth in a Randomized Complete Block Design experiment. Balahoza Innocent used Neem and Triangular spurge plants as the main botanicals and mixed them with chili, cinnamon, clove, ginger, onion, garlic and Lantana camara (summarized in Other Plant Materials OPM). The study investigated on the one hand the composition of the ingredients and on the other hand their application frequency. The results showed that out of the seven different treatments, the application of Neem + Triangular spurge + OPM three times a week had the highest efficacy against Diamondback Moth. This evidence-based knowledge will help our farmers to improve the quality and quantity of their cabbage production and herewith to increase their income.
The main objective of the study of Komba Thobias was to assess the economic viability of organic agriculture as well as to assess the costs and benefits associated with organic production compared to conventional farming. The study was conducted at Kinole, Mazimbu ward, Chamwino and Mkuyuni village located in Morogoro region and considered 52 organic and conventional farmers each. The results show that organic production is less expensive than conventional farming because the farmers can produce inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides by their own, using locally available ingredients that do not cost anything, instead of buying expensive industrial products. Furthermore, due to the higher prices for organic goods, the income from organic production is better than from conventional. These are good facts for our organic farmers. Kilimo hai!
One of the main challenges our organic farmers face is the marketing of their products. Therefore, Agness Bilasmmasi analyzed the distribution and marketing strategies of organic producers in Morogoro Region through questionnaires and focus group discussions. The study shows that awareness and understanding of organic agriculture in Morogoro Region is growing but there was no separate organic market yet. This makes it difficult for the customers to distinguish between organic and conventional products at the local market and therefore the willingness among them to pay a better price for organic products is low. In her study, Agness concludes that there is a need for marketing and distribution strategies for organic products to capture the existing market demand. Because of the reopening of the SAT Shop, where we sell the fresh organic products from our farmers, these findings are currently especially relevant for us.