Mrs. Dinasi Naibala from Manyire Commercial Village, Tanzania makes more profit from growing Traditional African Vegetables compared to staple crops. “With beans, I only harvest once per season, but I can harvest the vegetables up to eight times if the fruiting is abundant,” she says. Dinasi is also keen to ensure that her family is well nourished from the regular consumption of fresh traditional vegetables. Manyire Commercial Village hosted the USA Congress visit organized by USAID Feed the Future, GATES Foundation and ASPEN Institute and hosted by Farm Concern International, FCI-Tanzania.
At Manyire village, Mrs Dinasi Naibala has just concluded a sale, right there in her rain soaked-vegetable farm. The traders came calling earlier during the day from Arusha town, and paid her the pre-agreed price of Tsh 15,000-Tsh 30,000 (USD 9.5-USD 19) per 50 kilogramme bag of African eggplant, a traditional dark purplish fruit vegetable that is highly valued in the fresh produce markets in Arusha and Dar es Salaam, and in the local markets along Tanzania-Kenya northern border.
Farm Concern International (FCI) has developed a unique marketing innovation to bring farmers and traders together during Village Business Forums (VBFs) where an agreement is sought and reached on the farm gate price, volumes and quality. Good trading relationships have been established between Commercial Villages (CV) and wholesale traders.
Dinasi, a married mother of two intends to use the money from the sales to pay college fees for her older son and his younger sibling who is in secondary school. She is also saving some of the money and speaks with satisfaction about the goats she bought, as well as her farmyard manure project and milk enterprises.
Although Dinasi also cultivates maize and beans on the family’s plot, she is quick to point out that she makes more profit from growing Traditional African Vegetables (TAVs) compared to the staple crops.
“With beans, I only harvest once per season, but I can harvest the vegetables up to eight times if the fruiting is abundant,” she says.
Dinasi is also keen to ensure that her family is well nourished from the regular consumption of fresh vegetables. On her three-quarter acre hired farm, there is no shortage of either fruit or the green leafy varieties.
Dinasi chose to hire the farm due to its proximity to the water canals that criss-cross her village, allowing her to irrigate the plot. The vegetable plot is also strategically located close to a farm pond recently completed by Manyire CV with technical support from FCI staff.
In order to perform well, TAVs require a constant supply of water but Manyire farmers say the supply is inadequate during the dry season. This prompted construction of 38,800 cubic metre water pond at a cost of Tsh 419,629 (USD 265) through collective decision. FCI staff trained the farmers how to trap the rain water during the rainy season. This allows for continued production by irrigation in the dry season.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond