The appeal was made in Mpwapwa by District Administrative Secretary (DAS) Sarah Komba, noting that the ongoing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the expansion of Dodoma Airport offers farmers the possibility of selling their products to outside the country. .
She observed that organic farming is more lucrative and since the Dodoma region has a lot of fertile land that doesn’t need a lot of chemical fertilizers, farmers should invest more in organic farming.
Komba made the statement as he officiated at the opening of a week-long field training and exhibitions for farmers organized by Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT), a local non-governmental organization working in the region.
The DAS which represented the district commissioner, Josephat Maganga at the event, noted that the government is working hard to ensure that farmers can access the market for their products and enable them to obtain inputs.
“Ongoing developments like the SGR project crossing the districts of Mpwapwa, Chamwino and Dodoma open up opportunities for investment in organic farming in the region,” she said.
She cited the government’s intention to purchase a cargo plane as one of the efforts to increase agricultural exports to other countries, so farmers should know what international markets want and start producing.
She acknowledged the activities of the SAT, promoting organic farming at the household level, saying the good thing is that many women are involved in the program.
According to DAS, these programs help improve nutrition in families as women are trained on how to have organic vegetable gardens. This, she said, improves the health of family members, especially children who need proper nutrition in the first 1,000 days of birth.
SAT Project Director Elizabeth Girangai said in her opening speech that some 2,563 farmers, 2,354 women and 209 men working in 90 groups in 14 wards and 26 villages in three districts of the region are beneficiaries of the program.
She explained that Chamwno district has 1134 women and 57 men in seven wards and 15 villages working in 45 groups while Mpwapwa has 1092 women and 139 men working in 36 groups in seven wards and 11 villages while Dodoma has 128 women and 13 men working in eight groups in one neighborhood and three streets.
Girangai said they are currently benefiting from the project which empowers and trains them in organic farming, small businesses as well as access to finance to increase food security and improve their incomes.
She added that the SAT, in collaboration with other stakeholders, had organized exhibitions on organic farming to equip local farmers with organic farming knowledge, entrepreneurial skills and put them in contact with financial institutions.
“Through the exhibitions, farmers learn new ways to increase agricultural production, increase markets, entrepreneurship knowledge, reduce dependency and be able to increase income at family and national levels.” , said the project manager.