Bi Kazija Hamis, a 41 year old single mother of 4, lives in Kiombamvua District in Unguja and is a member of Kiombamvua Commercial Village (CV) in Zanzibar. “Before the introduction of the cassava project by Farm Concern International, I used to grow cassava on a small plot of half an acre mainly as food crop and not commercially. I would harvest 7-10 bags of fresh cassava from the 0.5 acre farm and sell at TSH 12,000 (USD 6) per 25kg,” said Bi Kazija.
She lamented that the little money she earned from the sale was not enough to meet the basic needs of her family as well as pay school fees for her children. However, introduction of the Cassava Village Processing Programme by Farm Concern International with support from USAID transformed her life from subsistence to commercial farmer.
Yistina also shares her transformational story through Cassava farming after adopting the Good Agricultural Practices taught by Zanzibar Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) and market linkages by FCI. “I joined Kiombamvua CV in 2015 and was educated on collective purchasing of inputs & marketing and good agronomical practices like planting in ridges, use of improved seeds (Kizimbani), use of manure and crop rotation and weeding by Zanzibar Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) and FCI linked us to markets in Unguja through Village Business Forums (VBF). I was assured of markets for my cassava even before I planted. I now cultivate cassava on 1 acre farm and harvest 20-35 bags of 50kgs which I sell at Tsh 25,000 (USD 12.5) per bag earning Tsh 8,750,000 (USD 437.5).
Yistina has managed to build a two roomed-house and pay school fees for her children using proceeds from cassava farming. Moreover, she has made savings worth TSh 500,000 USD 250.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond