In Mafinga, Tanzania, we started a new project called Establishing an Apple Orchard and Better Cow Care in Mafinga Parish. It aims to expand the hard skills courses, increase the quality of agricultural production and improve the sustainability of the parish in Mafinga.
The project is being implemented in the Salesian parish, which has a training centre for poor girls. This year 27 girls are studying tailoring there and through our new project, the girls will also have the opportunity to learn skills in caring for fruit trees. Specifically, the girls will learn how to properly care for apple trees. Growing apple trees is possible in Mafinga thanks to the suitable climatic conditions. Of course, caring for trees in a tropical climate has its specifics, so it is necessary to learn how to do it. Why is such a skill useful to the local people? Apples are a highly valued crop in Tanzania. They command a stable price throughout the year and apple growing is inexpensive, so the return on investment is very fast and farmers earn a good income from selling apples. This gives the girls an important life skill that can improve their lives.
Thanks to the project, 100 apple trees have already been planted on the parish land. Subsequently, a training course on apple tree cultivation will be organised, in which 53 people will be trained (girls from the tailoring course, staff of the Salesian parish and also the Salesian boarding school). The course will be divided into two parts due to the high number of applicants. The training will be provided by a local company, Tamu Tamu Tanzania, which specialises in apple trees. In addition to local employees, girls from the tailoring course will also look after the trees in the orchard. The aim is to offer them hands-on experience of apple tree growing so that they will have the opportunity to expand their skills and learn about good tree care practices.
To ensure that apple trees are being grown correctly in the parish, 4 monitoring visits will be arranged during 2022. The monitoring will be carried out by a Tamu Tamu Tanzania field worker. He will provide the necessary advice and inspect the orchard. He will also be available for a telephone consultation if needed. In addition to the parish in Mafinga, this field worker will also visit the Salesian Mafinga Seminary School, where the apple orchard already exists.
The project will also purchase a grass cutter, which will enable the parish to prepare food for the cows that are kept on the parish farm. Currently, the cows graze outside the parish property, often consuming dangerous items such as tacks or plastics while grazing, causing them digestive problems. Preparing food on the parish farm will improve the quality of care for the cows and thus the quality of the cow products, which are also consumed by poor girls at the local boarding school.
The project will not only bring new skills to the Salesian parish in Mafinga but will also increase the sustainability of the parish in the long term. Thanks to the sale of apples, the parish will in the future have an income from which it will be able to finance the education of poor youth.
The project is being implemented in 2022 in collaboration with the OZ MISIA MLADÝCH (YOUTH MISSION). We warmly thank you for your support.
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