FRENCH Beans farmers in northern Tanzania will soon smile all the way to the bank, thanks to the prospective bump harvest.
Courtesy of Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA)’s connecting Youth and Women to sustainable agriculture project funded by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), french beans yields set to increase to 4 tonnes per acre, up from 1.5 tonnes.
In real figure, for instance, a total of 80 selected farmers from Arumeru, Siha, Moshi rural and Same districts with 54.47 combined acres, are currently whetting appetite to harvest 216 tonnes of French beans for Europeans and Middle East Markets and earn Sh 324 million per season.
“We see the better days ahead, thanks to TAHA for effective extension services, linking us with access to finance, agriculture technologies and markets” says Ladbody Mwakyabala, a French beans farmer at Ngurudoto village in Arumeru district, Arusha region.
Through the project, TAHA has been undertaking farmer’s sensitisation, group formation and formalisation, capacity building on application of horticultural innovative technologies and good agricultural practices, enable farmers to access finance and markets for their high quality produces.
“The project has designed to transform horticulture farming as the initiative come with holistic approach.
We carry out on farm training in order to increase yields and produce high quality crops to get profits, link farmers to finance and marketing access,” says TAHA’s Chief Development Manager, Mr Anthony Chamanga.
Mr Chamanga was grateful to women and youth farmers for embracing technologies to increase crop yields, make their business more efficient and profitable, adhere to high quality production practices in order to meet the international markets standards.
“I’m so thankful to the UNDP financial support as TAHA is now able to transform farmers to produce high quality crops for export, feed the hungry and pull millions of the rural poor out of poverty,” he explains.
The project will also see construction of perishable crops collection centres in a bid to address poor storage structures in order control the post harvest loss.
The TAHA project coordinator, Ms Monna Sitayo, says her organisation has, through the UNDP funded Connecting Youth and Women to Sustainable Agriculture project, identified, mobilised and mapped out youth and women groups which have been integrated into extension systems for providing them with reliable services they need for adopting technology and improving their productivity.
Through the project, TAHA has been able to mobilise 775 farmers in Busega, Bunda, Arumeru, Siha, Moshi Rural and Same districts and capacity building on application of horticultural innovative technologies and good agricultural practices.
Ms Sitayo says 266 out of the total 775 farmers have been trained on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). (54-farmers in Arumeru, 92 in Bunda and Busega districts, 60 Same, 20 Siha and 40 Moshi rural ).
It has also been promoting use of bio-pesticides and biological control agents, and linking up farmers with service providers to ease access to improved, quality and affordable inputs.
“We’ve successfully established 17 fully-fledged demonstration plots and developed water infrastructure to facilitate crops production,” she adds.
Farmers under the project are at various stages of planting the suitable horticultural crops on the demo plots after having supplied with seeds and other inputs Substantial numbers of nearby farmers and other societies have been attracted by the stateof- the-art demo plots and have been joining TAHA as members in order to benefit. Agronomists are now reaching out to individual beneficiaries.
The adoption of agricultural technologies has marked tremendous productivity and income upsurge for players in a multi-million dollar horticultural industry.
Thanks to TAHA, the key driver of the $764 million industry, for introducing modern technology drive that has yielded a massive impact in terms of horticultural crops output and income for growers.
For instance, new data shows TAHA-supported farmers have increased yields up to between 300 and 400 per cent in a decade, depending on the type of crops, technologies applied and geographical areas.
TAHA’s fresh statistics indicate that onion harvests in Tanzania Mainland have increased from 200 to 600 crates per acre per season over the period under review, a courtesy of extensive adoption of new agricultural