Stories from the Field – Jiungeni Group

Facts – Members: 18 – Founded: 2015

Jiungeni means joining together and cooperate. In 2015, the group joined and since then the 18 members collaborate successful in organic agriculture. The group is home at Milengwelengwe, a village based at the feet plain of the Uluguru Mountains. The group plot, which they received for cultivating from a group member, measures one acre. To this, all group members have their own Shamba (field) where they grow leafy greens, sweet potatoes, eggplants, okra, sweet pepper, cucumber, watermelon, pumpkin, sugar cane, lemon grass, lemon, orange, guava as well as passion fruit. The group plot is adjacent to the Msombizi River, from where the group pumps the water and distributes it through pipes to the fields.

Portrait of group

The Jiungeni group members love to share their passion for organic agriculture with visitors from all around the world. When asked about the objective of their group, they explain that they wish to be known national and international wise. In the region, the group is already well known because they are very successful in teaching other villagers in organic agriculture and they plan to set up a second group in the village soon. Despite of spreading their knowledge, the courteous hosts aim to sustainable improve the livelihood of the group members through education of their children and to protect the environment. The sustainable use of natural resources and the conservation of the environment is very important to the group, they emphasize.

One example showing this is that many of the group members are planting trees in their Shamba. Currently, the smart group is doing research on compost making by experimenting with different plant types such as banana leafs and grasses. In the near future, the group members plan to start keeping livestock such as cattle, goat, poultry and fish. When the group started with organic agriculture, most villagers did not recognize this method of production and doubted that it could be efficient without industrial chemicals. Despite these beliefs, after the first harvest they were convinced that the opposite was true and everybody was impressed by the rich harvest of healthy crops. Today, many villagers frequently visit the group intending to learn how to produce organic.

Portrait of Tondolla Ally Tamimu, 49 years old

Tondolla Ally Tamimu, the 49-year-old group member has been producing organic since 2014. On the three acres of land he owns, he is growing sweet potato, eggplant, cucumber, okra, sweet pepper, water melon, pumpkin, lemon grass, lemon, orange, guava, passion fruit, banana, pineapple and leafy greens. Besides of this, he also owns a tree farm where he produces timber. For the future, Tondolla Ally Tamimu plans to keep livestock such as cattle, goat, poultry and fish to diversify the source of income and increase the proportion of protein in the diet of his family.

In addition, he plans to buy a water pump for his own Shamba to facilitate irrigation of remote plots. He also emphasizes the importance of the investment in the education of his children in order to improve the livelihood of his family in a long term. Being an organic producer comes with many benefits, he explains. Thanks to Kilimo hai and the herewith associated reduction of costs for inputs, he managed to set aside savings for the future of his children, his wife and himself, he is able to protect the health of other people and he protects the ecosystem with its many beneficial organisms. Tondolla Ally Tamimu is well known in the region for his broad knowledge and has been trained by SAT in different activities. As a dedicated farmer-to-farmer teacher, he aims to educate people and wants to spread knowledge about organic agriculture. Kilimo hai not only improved his livelihood but also brought him many new friends – this is what we love, Hongera!

This farmer group is funded by Biovision Foundation and Liechtensteiner Entwicklungsdienst and is part of the FPC Project