KAGERA DEVELOPMNT AND CREDIT REVOLVING FUND
A CONCEPT PAPER ON PROMOTION OF UPLAND RICE FARMING IN TANZANIA
(A PILOT PROJECT IN KAGERA, MWANZA AND COAST REGIONS)
1.0 BACKGROUND INFORMATION
According to the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP) (MKUKUTA), most of the communities in Tanzania live below the poverty line, the indicator being that they live below 1 US$ per day. They experience food scarcity and food insecurities overtime. Nevertheless, there are no any early warning initiatives to overcome calamities such as drought and deficiencies. In order to address this and attain MKUKUTA objectives and the Millennium Development Goals (e.g. MDG-1) Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Hunger by half by the year 2015â€ several interventions have to be taken that includes, eradicating hunger by ensuring food security while taking into account environmental sustainability of the land resource.
The National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP (2005) however, states further that poverty remains overwhelming in rural areas where about 87% of the poor population lives and highest percentage of them depend on agriculture. Agriculture accounts 45% of GDP and about 60% of export earnings in the past three years. It provides livelihoods to 82% of the population while its average annual growth rate is 4.8%.
Despite the significant role it plays to the GDP, it faces many constraints such as low productivity of land, labour and production inputs; underdeveloped irrigation potential; limited capital and access to financial services; inadequate agricultural technical support services; erosion of natural resource base; environmental degradation; poor coordination and limited technological capacity; monoculture and lack of modern agricultural skills.
It was found that Smallholder farmers are degrading their environment because of poverty. They have been carrying out a diverse of economic activities for sufficing their life sustenance in various forms, which in most cases pose threats to the environment and their welfare is still disappointing. They have been engaged in agriculture but there is a decrease of agricultural yields from one harvesting season to another because of various combined underlying factors. The situation makes farmers to have limited assets which create few response options when struck by shocks and stressâ€ (TzPPA (2003:39). The issue of monoculture; subsistence farming; access to financial services for agriculture and proper land use and management should be highly addressed through participatory initiatives.
2.0 PLANED INTERVENTIONS
2.1 Upland rice as an alternative
The introduction and promotion of mechanized upland rice farming in the country can be taken as a step to lessen the problem of monoculture as well as an alternative to wetland conservation to paddy rice cultivation. The informal preliminary survey conducted by KADETFU documented that, upland rice farming would be one of the way towards diversifying source of income earning base, combating transitory food insecurity and protection of wetlands. Upland rice farming is one of the technologies adopted from Uganda during farmersâ€™ study visits that were organized by KADETFU. In Uganda, Upland rice farming, known locally in Uganda as â€œKilimo ya Mpunga ya milimaniâ€ is being promoted and propagated by the Office of the Vice President in which the VP himself, H.E. Prof. Gilbert Bukenya gave an audience for Kagera farmers to visits his farm in Kakiri Sub-county, Wakiso District. The VP told the visiting team that, Upland rice has been a poverty reducer as well as hunger alleviator in Uganda.
The survey carried by KADETFU, further showed that through the experiment done through 22 selected contact farmers in Kagera region, the crop is doing well and flourishing. The crop is drought and disease resistant/tolerant.
The national Seed Company (NASECO), a private seed company and producer of upland rice seeds in Uganda noticed that, these varieties are accompanied with such characteristics like: (Source: APEP and NASECO Uganda)
- Short germination and maturity period i.e. only 90 days from planting to harvest.
- contains more than 24% of protein contents,
- Not labour intensive
- Can be planted any where, regardless water availability as it is drought resistant, needs little irrigation if necessary.
- Savory taste and enticing aroma
- No complication in cooking and take short cooking time which result in time and firewood saving, and gender sensitive as they give time to women to cater for other family cores.
- Excellent milling and marketability assuring farmers big benefits.
- The crop has been used by millions of farmers in Uganda to improve their livelihoods such as increasing food security, nutrition and household income.
- Upland rice has been distinguished as a solution to both poverty and hunger.
- It has diverse characteristics that lead in to profitable yields.
- Production cost is modest comparing to other types of this crop (total input per acre US$ 200 v/v output US$ 1, 5000) (Source APEP, Uganda).
- High yield production (i.e. planting 30 Kg in one acre can produce between 2,500-3,000 Kgs), short period labour intensiveness,
- Can be cultivated at any field regardless the uniqueness of that land.
- Any farmer can adapt and adopt the technology regardless agricultural knowledge limitations, academic background, age or sex. It is always a one day training.
- Market is available locally and overseas.
- It is an employment creation activity
- Mostly important; environmental friendly (Wetlands are not disturbed).
2.2 Food processing scheme
Moreover, there is at best inadequate knowledge and skills in food processing. It is significant to support smallholder farmers to establish and promote small-scale food processing units of agricultural yields. Fellows, P & Hampton, A, (1992) pointed out that this is one of the ways of alleviating poverty in rural areas since the raw materials are readily available. The authors added that, small-scale food processing can create employment in particular for women who currently are facing the problem of disguised employment and such industries have few negative environmental effects. Conversely the process would increase the value of agricultural crops for easily accessing the market on a competitive basis at the local market and abroad.
2.3 Irrigation scheme and early warning initiatives
The dependency of rainfall in agriculture sector is unpredictable and unreliable and has so far lead to transitory food insecurity in some areas of the country which was accelerated by prolonged period of dry season. The irrigation scheme is therefore essential and would reduce the relying on rainfall in agricultural activities.
The socio-economic profile of Kagera Region, (2003:83) clarified that irrigated farming is not common in the area though feasible as the region possess fresh water bodies. Farmers have to be trained in irrigation technologies and early warning initiatives of droughts management and concern. Diversity of crops can be managed through irrigation farming especially in the event of drought.
2.4 Sustainable Agriculture
Promotion of sustainable in the country is another way of diversification of income earning base at household level. Farmers will be built their capacity in sustainable agriculture that includes organic farming techniques. Besides this, the exercise would improve the capacity of farmers to manage and use land resources sustainably enhancing the efficiency of nutrient recycling on the farm, and reduce land degradation.
3.0 Objectives of proposed project
- Improvement of farmers general knowledge and skills in agriculture and sustainable utilization of natural resources for environmental promotion and increased production.
- Reduction of abject poverty among the farming communities through agricultural diversification and sustainable use, management and utilization of available resources to increase productivity that would raise their standard of living. This includes introduction and promotion of upland rice.
- Diversification of various source of income to smallholder farmers through introduction of small-scale food processing factories for agricultural produce.
- Increasing land productivity through promoting and encouraging farmers to adapt and adopt sustainable agricultural practices by making the use of organic farming and irrigation technologies and mechanized agriculture.
4.0 STRATEGIC INTERVENTION
4.1 The Pilot area
As aforesaid, this type of crop has been experienced in Kagera Region in two Districts (Muleba and Bukoba rural) in which the results have shown positive production, it is doing well and flourishing. The approach was to select 24 farmers from 12 villages of Muleba and Bukoba Rural Districts, two people (gender balanced) from each village. They were trained by an expert from Uganda (NASECO) for one day and provided with seeds, 30 Kgs planting one acre each. The results however, are encouraging. This triggered KADETFU to disseminate the same crop technology to other areas of the country.
- This experimental expansion project is expected to be implemented in Cost region to gain cost experience and Mwanza region to gain the pad rice producers experience.
- The proposed pilot areas are Muleba and Bukoba Rural district in Kagera Region, Magu and Kwimba districts in Mwanza region and Bagamoyo and Kibaha Districts in Coast region respectively.
- Forty farmers from twenty villages in each Region will be selected, trained and given farm inputs such as seeds for planting.
- Trainers will be from Uganda and Kagera region contact farmers who will give their experience.
- After the first batch of farmers experience, the large scale project will follow.
- In each region, one Coordinating NGO has been identified to coordinate the project activities between KADETFU and the project site. In Kagera region, KADETFU will implement the project activities while in Mwanza Region, BUDEFU, a partner NGO with KADETFU will coordinate the project activities. TULINJE women group in a NGO based at Chalinze Municipality, in Chalinze Ward will coordinate the activities in Coast region.
5.0 ABOUT KADETFU-THE PROJRCT IMPLEMENTING AGENT (PIA)
KADETFU (Kagera Development and Credit Revolving Fund) is a local non- governmental organization based in Kagera region. It was registered by the government of Tanzania on July 30 th, 1993 under the Trustees Incorporation Ordinance cap No 375 of 1956. The registration number is ADG/TI/2058. Under the new NGO act 2004, it has now obtained a certificate of compliance (CoC) No. 1596 of 13.3.2006 under the new NGO act 2004. Thus the name of the organization has changed by excluding the word Trust from the title, therefore the Name now reads Kagera Development and Credit revolving Fundâ€ but the acronym remains the same i.e. KADETFU
The organization is engaged in implementing the MKUKUTA objective and the MDGs, the include reduction of poverty and hunger. It is also engaged in human rights protection, advocacy and education with a particular focus on women and children's rights through awareness creation, advocacy and support. With support from CIDA Canada it has established a human rights information center (resource center) and organized training Programme that empowered 34 field facilitators to advocate for women and children's rights. KADETFU has also a legal clinic, which was established at Bukoba town through which, the organization raises awareness in the community, and assists widows and orphans to repossess property that has been grabbed at funerals. The Advocate, who is being recruited by the project for this activity on the one year basis, performs this activity.
KADETFU is also promoting Economic Social and Cultural (ESC) rights through Primary Health Care Programme/HIV/AIDS control, environmental management programmes that comprise afforestation, renewable energy for reducing women's drudgery of fuel wood and water collection and sustainable agriculture. In addition, through a poverty reduction program, the organization provides micro credit, educates the community members in project planning and management and on the human rights violation consequences that affect widows and orphans. Furthermore KADETFU organizes seminars for various community groups, peer based and action for promoting a right based approach within the just community. It is now seeking funds to embark on the project that aims at promoting human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS.
One of the projects under implementation now, aims at promoting sustainable agriculture and sustainable fishing for livelihood of small holder farmers and fishers along the shores Lake Victoria.
KADETFU also runs an English Medium Nursery and Primary school based at Rubya in Muleba District that was established for the aim of assisting orphans to acquire quality education like other non-orphaned children.
The organization has a Board of Trustees with six Board members who possess various experiences and qualifications from a Social worker, an advocate, a Medical Doctor, a Clinical Officer, an Accountant, an environmentalist, a farmer and Health personnel. It has 15 employed staff and 43 volunteers known as Field Facilitators/Field workers. It has three foreign Volunteers, two from Germany and one from the Netherlands. The Germany volunteers are based at Muleba, Rubya office while the other two are based at Bukoba office.
6.0 KADETFU's VISION
We envisage a peaceful and just society where human rights are observed, a healthy, an environmental friendly society enjoying better economy, committed to its social and cultural problems and hence fighting for their solutions.
7.0 KADETFU's Mission Statement
KADETFU is committed to protect human rights, conservation of the environment, facilitate promotion of social, economic, cultural development and thus empower the society to organize and fight for their needs through utilizing locally available resources
8.0 KADETFU's objectives
- Poverty eradication by improving community capacities, promoting social and vocational skills, provision of credits and employment creation through establishing micro-entrepreneurs for Women, Youth and older persons.
- Promoting, protecting and advocating for human rights, gender equality and good governance.
- Conservation of the environment.
- Promoting preventive health i.e. HIV/AIDS control Primary Health Care Programmes and Research.
- Promotion of Infrastructure development
Mr. Yusto P. Muchuruza, Executive Director
P.O.Box 466, Bukoba.
Tel: 028 2220717
Fax; 028 2220954, 2220717
Mobile: 0744 740267