Recently we have visited Tanzania to see our ongoing projects including the one called Supporting Self-employment in Agriculture through Building Practical Skills. The project is focused on training local farmers from Iringa and Njombe regions in growing apples. Apples are a valuable crop in Tanzania as its price does not fluctuate throughout the year and thus provides a sustainable income for local farmers.

During the trip we managed to visit trained farmers living in the area of Makete town who successfully grow apple trees and earn from selling apples. Within the project we have already trained 582 persons. Each training includes topics such as planting trees, correct way of tying crown branches, fertilization, eco-friendly pest solutions for trees like chilli, garlic and soap. The trainings take place directly in home villages of the farmers to ensure access to skills also for poor farmers and women who would otherwise not be able to attend the training as they have to take care of children and household. As a consequence, the trainers and extension officers have better knowledge of specificities of each location and can tailor the training for each group of farmers according to their needs. Organizing training directly in the villages is also a prevention to spreading COVID-19. As far as the trainings take place in the exterior and are organized for rather smaller groups of farmers from the same village we minimise the risk of spreading the disease.

At the end of each training the farmers are provided with apple trees. So far we planted 5893 trees in the farmers’ orchards. Trained farmers know how to take care of the trees and in case they need some assistance they are attended by extension officers who regularly visit the farmers and offer them a necessary advisory. During harvest season we give the farmers an opportunity to sell their apples for which we create a supply chain. Thus, the farmers have a market for their apples and a guaranteed sustainable income. So far we bought 1,000 kg of apples from the farmers. We cooperate mainly with fruit and vegetable stores in Dodoma and Arusha and also with a company drying fruit. Dried apples are a new tasty product which increases the quest for the farmers’ apples.

During the monitoring we also visited a centre of our partner organisation TamuTamu Tanzania which currently has 6,000 trees in the nursery to be distributed among farmers in the upcoming rain season. There is a quest for another 20,000 rootstocks which the partner organisation tries to buy from the Netherlands. Currently we are trying to get all necessary permission to be able to import them to Tanzania.

We are very happy with the project results so far. Help us make a positive change in the lives of poor farmers. Ways of support are listed HERE.