Modern farming helps farmers improve their agricultural productivity
Kurwa Nyaroche is among of the farmers at Guta village, Bunda District, Mara Region, who is seeing a big difference in his agricultural productivity after received a support from Millenium Development Acceleration framework (MAF) project to adapt on the new ways of farming.
''I used to grow cassava in previous years and harvest very little because cassava in our area is very vulnerable to disease and poor farming methods .But now we have learnt that even sunflower can grow well in our area.’’ He continues. ‘’I have grown it in first season and harvested 5 bags. Now I am waiting to harvest the second season which I am sure to get more than this. says Kurwa
Nyaroche and other farmers in 19 villages in Bunda District has been facilitated by the project with support from UNDP to form productive groups for better and easy information delivery and accessing technical assistance from the agricultural extension practitioners. They have also been provided with technical agricultural advices and inputs like certified seeds free of charge.
''Normally agricultural extension officer from the district visit us and provide education about farming methods that will help to improve our crops yields and enable us to improve marketing of our produce''. Explained another farmer
- Millenium Acceleration Framework(MAF) projects is among of the components within the major project of Pro-Poor Economic Growth and Environmentally Sustainable Development expected to support the national efforts to reduce income poverty through promoting inclusive, sustainable and employment-enhancing growth by focusing on enhancing Tanzania's institutional capabilities for developing pro-poor growth and environmentally sustainable development policies and strategies.
- The programme is supported by UNDP core fund, One UN fund, and UNEP and implemented in collaboration with Presidents Office (planning commission),PMORALG(Bunda District Council) and CSOs (Third millennium peace initiative foundation)
After project intervention, many farmers in project villages have formed demonstration farms, and shifted from cassava and cotton growing to sunflower and paddy growing and adopted different sustainable and modern agricultural practices eg use modern inputs seeds and fertilizers.
''Sunflower farming will help us to earn a good income because it has value. Through selling sunflower oil we will be able to get a lot of money.’’commented kurwa
However the project has managed to establish agricultural information resource center in Bunda town which has helped raising awareness to farmers through agricultural films which incorporate the best farming practices by demonstrations.
Through implementation of activities, the project has managed effectively to create a functioning link between the districts Agricultural extension officers and farmers in the district which helps to improve agricultural performance.
The project has also built financial capacity of two Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) by providing them with grants to enable them to extend financial services to more clients who are interested with modern agriculture. These include Kibara Biashara Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (Tsh10, 000,000) and Mugeta SACCOS (Tsh 5,000,000).This has enabled farmers to access agricultural credits at affordable rate of interest.
MAF Projects are community service oriented projects aiming to accelerate the implementation of MDG1 on reducing extreme poverty and hunger with a great emphasis on agriculture (sunflower and paddy farming) fish farming and poultry keeping.