NETHERLANDS Development Organisation (SNV) plans to spend 30 million Euros (approximately 82.56bn/-) for the implementation of a climate change resilient agribusiness project in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Monitoring officer for the project in Central zone, Mr Geoffrey Isote revealed this during Farmer Field Day celebrations held at Nkungi village in Mkalama District, Singida region and Makutupora in Manyoni District.
He said that the project which started in July 2018 up to May 2023 was being implemented in Southern Highlands Zone comprising Iringa, Katavi, Mbeya and Songwe regions and in the Central Zone which consists of Dodoma and Singida regions, where a total of 100,000 farmers were expected to be reached during the five-year implementation period.
“Our main target is to improve the value chain in millet, Irish potatoes, sunflowers and beans. We are actually targeting the peasant, especially the low income, to move from subsistence farming to productive agriculture by increasing his/her income using a small area to harvest more crops of high quality,” explained Mr Isote.
Project Manager for Musoma Food Co Ltd, Mr Samson Msigwa, who is implementing the Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (CRAFT) project on millet in Mkalama and Manyoni districts in Singida region, said his company decided to chip in after realizing that the demand for the crop was greater than the supply from the farmers.
“Three years ago, there was a large millet market, but production was low and poor; so we saw the need to help the farmer get better seeds, the right inputs, the best way to plant, harvest and finally buy his/ her produce in order to reduce the burden of looking for a market,” explained Msigwa.
“In implementing this project, we have established demonstration farms in some villages where peasants from other villages have the opportunity to come and learn. However, we intend to expand the scope of these demonstration farms to more villages so that we can finally reach every peasant,” he said.
Manyoni District Agriculture Officer, Fadhili Chimsala who represented the District Executive Director (DED) admitted that the presence of Musoma Food Co ltd in the implementation of the project was a blessing to the farmers in mobilizing and resolving their various challenges.
He also urged all Makutupora peasants and surrounding villages to take full advantage of the high speed train (SGR) that passes through the area while Mkalama District Agriculture Officer, Seleman Msunga noted that demonstration farms had helped to reduce the high demand for extension officers in the district.