Rodgers and Beatrice (husband and wife) own three acres of land in Arusha region of Tanzania. They are among thousands of farmers who have benefitted from FCI intervention under the Domestic Markets Regional Programme funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They have experienced an increase in production of vegetables and maize as a result of adoption of Good Agronomic Practices. Rodgers indicated that an acre currently produces 20 bags of maize up from 7 bags leading to an annual income of TZS 2,400,000 (USD 1,411.00), up from the TZS 840,000 (USD 493.84) he used to make five years ago.
Sales from Traditional Africa Vegetables have increased to TZS 2,000,000 (USD 1,175.80) up from TZS 200,000 (USD 117.58) while the home environment has greatly improved as a result of having a banana plantation in comparison with a few years ago. The drivers towards the impacts included adoption of clean and improved seeds as opposed to local seed which led to less yields. Rogers has practiced proper application of chemicals and fertilizers, enhanced farm management and water harvesting technologies and utilization. He now has knowledge on when to apply chemicals as well as factoring in proper post-harvest management.
FCI linked Manyire Commercial Village members to partners such as AVRDC (Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center) who trained them on good agricultural practices. FCI taught them on maize storage technologies which enabled them to get better prices during off peak periods. They were trained on collective marketing through the Commercial Village Model (CVM) which helped them to fetch better prices as a result of collective action. Capacity building on market access information came in handy through the support from FCI staff and within their group committees. The knowledge about market and marketing helped them to become price makers.
The couple has used proceeds from agri- business to build a permanent house, buy cattle, goats and chicken. Now the family gets milk from their cows for proper nutrition and good health. So far, they have spent about TZS 12M (USD 7,054.80) towards the house project. The process of keeping animals and building the house was not easy, but he was capable because of borrowing from the groups and saving little by little.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond