EFF Tanzania was established in 2013 and it has been supporting smallholder farmers to move from subsistence farming to farming for business through training and linkage to markets and financial services in various regions with different agricultural value chains.
The projects implemented by EFF focus on increasing farmer access to inputs, markets and finance. Farmers often lack access to improved seed varieties; inputs such as inorganic or organic fertilizers and pesticides; and other yield increasing technologies. EFF has the important role to establish linkages between the farmers and the buyers on the one hand and the financial institutions on the other. Moreover, through extension services and training in agricultural practices, such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Conservation Agriculture (CA); basic business skills; and group management skills, farmers gain knowledge on how to improve their productivity. Training is provided through the setup of demonstration plots, and more recently through the selection and involvement of Lead Farmers with mini demonstration plots on their land. EFF has also facilitated the linkage with commercial buyers, such as ETG, and financial institutions such as NMB, by helping farmers to establish Agricultural Marketing Societies (AMCOS). Once there is a greater level of engagement, through the AMCOS, the smallholder farmers are able to not only aggregate their produce, but also their voice, enabling them to have better bargaining power as they sell in bulk. When smallholders successfully practice business farming, this has a stabilizing effect on the local economy and greatly impacts rural communities income of USD290 – USD350 per household.
LINDI-MTWARA SESAME PROJECT
In 2012, EFF started a sesame project in Kilwa district, Lindi region, to improve the entire sesame value chain starting with the quality and quantity of sesame produced through contract farming. Farmers were given access to improved seed varieties (Lindi White 2002) through input finance for one acre, gradually adding agro chemicals to the input loan. While AKF carried out agronomic training, EFF focused on quality control, post-harvest handling, aggregation coordination and procurement under business training. EFF, AKF and ETG worked together to improve the value chain in the region by also involving the District Council, farmer organizations and cooperative societies under the project. As a result, the project expanded to the Mtwara region and the farmers produced a superior quality of sesame, which was rated top grade amongst ETG’s total procurement nationwide. In Kilwa, yields have more than tripled in the majority of the cases: 100kg to 350kg/acre and in exceptional cases 400-450kg/acre raising income by approximately USD290 – USD350 per household.
NEWALA PRODUCTIVITY PROJECT (NPP)
The Newala Productivity Project is one of the longest running EFF projects in Tanzania. The aim of the project was to reduce poverty among remote, sparse and resource constrained farming communities by giving them knowledge and skills to boost agricultural growth. By linking them to globally integrated commercial markets they would be able to improve and sustain their standards of living. EFF targeted remote smallholder communities who were growing pigeon pea as a cash crop, but who lacked agronomic knowledge and had no access to inputs and market. EFF provided training and quality inputs through partners and engaged with lead farmers, community leaders, farmer organizations, government warehousing staff and buyers. EFF worked directly with farming groups to improve the aggregation process, tonnage estimate for the buyer, logistics and storage either within the farming community or at government warehouses. Furthermore, EFF engaged with warehousing staff and farmer organizations to improve the system of procurement and also provided tools for quality control measures. EFF has most recently provided financial literacy training to the farmers with some farmers opening bank accounts.
KOROGWE PRODUCTIVITY PROJECT (KPP)
In 2013, EFF began engaging with farming communities, local government staff and a research institute in Korogwe, Muheza and Handeni districts in the Tanga Region, to introduce two types of pulses to increase smallholder household income and reduce poverty: pigeon pea and green gram. EFF invested in a senior agronomist and trained junior field extension staff and government extension officers to establish demonstration plots with improved varieties of pigeon pea and green gram seeds showing production under different circumstances. Farmers received technical training in crop cultivation, new technologies, and farming for business to optimize highest profitability by using inputs with proper farm management. Moreover, in collaboration with the district agricultural office, farmers were encouraged and supported to formalise groups. ETG supported the initiative to provide input finance to over 1,200 pigeon pea growers and 800 green gram growers in the region. EFF has seen yields per acre from ground zero to an average of 300 kg per acre for pigeon pea and 350 kg per acre for green. In 2019 farmers also participated in nutrition training held in 6 villages on the use of pigeon pea for a healthy diet.
BABATI PRODUCTIVITY PROJECT (BPP)
The original objectives of the BPP were to increase quality of pigeon pea and maize to meet international market demand and standards through training in GAP and input packages of market preferred variety of pigeon pea and improved maize varieties. Across 7 villages, 12 demonstration plots were established to train farmers on intercropping these two crops and best agronomic practices. However, with the Indian Governments import ban in 2017 drastically changed the international pulses demand and in order to continue supporting the farmers the project has developed into the MPTIP as of May 2018 with support from the EAGC, Rikolto and TPN, and the goal to improve the market linkage of at least 1,000 smallholder producers of pigeon pea and chickpea in Manyara Region by April 2020. The aim is to improve access to markets and finance through “farming as a business” approach and to strengthen market linkages for smallholder producers.
IVS KAGERA COFFEE PROJECT (IVS)
In January 2017, the CPT Innovation Voucher was given as a matching grant to the EFF to implement an innovative social-economic development project in the coffee sector. The goal of the Integrated Engagement Platform for Coffee Smallholders (IVS Kagera Project) was to increase the net income of small scale Robusta coffee farmers in the Kagera Region by focusing on improved access to productive inputs and knowledge of GAP in line with the National Sustainability Curriculum for coffee among smallholder farmers; improved access to markets and finance through “farming as a business” approach; and strengthened grower groups to operate more efficiently and become active participants in the Robusta coffee value chain.
Through the setup of demonstration plots with new seedlings and regular training to farmers in the project area, farmers learned new techniques to optimise their coffee production. EFF encouraged links with the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI), and through these ties, farmers were able to receive free coffee seedlings from the institute and EFF helped in the transport and distribution of these to farmers. The FEOS also gave training and support to farmers in the establishment of cooperatives and groups, such as helping them draft group constitutions, in order to increase their say in the existing coffee cooperatives.
In addition, two coffee nurseries were established by a farmers group, with the help of the EFF FEO, in Muleba and in Karagwe District. When the project ended, the Muleba coffee nursery had just produced seedlings and the group members were selling them to the various farmers in the area. By establishing the coffee nursery, the group had created an income generating activity and at the same time were able to provide affordable seedlings to farmers a short distance away.
SHANTA MINE AGRICULTURAL PROJECT (SMAP)
The objectives of the project were to increase farm productivity and net income through agriculture as a profitable alternative to artisanal mining for families surrounding the Shanta mine and to create a sustainable agricultural infrastructure in the area. In addition, EFF provided training on GAP and CA, pre-and post-harvest handling of the harvested produce, basic business skills and group management to farmers in Maleza, Mbangala, Patamela and Saza villages. Initially, village demonstration plots were set up to show the cash crop farming of sesame and green gram and the (inter)cropping of good varieties of maize and sorghum. In each of the villages, Agricultural Marketing and Cooperative Societies (AMCOS) were set up and formally registered in Mbozi, the regional capital. The farmers benefited from training, market linkage as well as being linked to the NMB for financial literacy training and now all village AMCOS have an account with the NMB and payments for procurement will go through the bank. In the most recent season EFF provided 25 lead farmers with smart phones and an internet bundle for five months. A WhatsApp group was established so that EFF could send regular extension messages and farmers had a way of exchanging information which has become a huge success for information sharing and monitoring of the project.
ZANZIBAR ETHANOL STOVES PROJECT (ZESP)
In 2017, EFF initiated a pilot project in Zanzibar to raise awareness amongst secondary school students on climate change, the effects of deforestation, environmental protection and renewable energy. By targeting school leavers (Form 4 students) and some of the students in the year below, EFF, felt confident that this initiative would be a positive way to engage with the community around the Zanzibar Sugar Factory. Specifically, the aim of the pilot was to teach the students about rectified spirits (ethanol) and its link to sugarcane; how rectified spirits (ethanol) can be an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional methods of cooking; how to use an ethanol stove through hands on experience; to gain some knowledge about nutrition; and to gain knowledge on climate change and environmental degradation and means to counter their effects. The program was a great success spreading to several schools and promoting climate action among 400 students.