Saturday, 13 July 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Saturday, 13 July 2024

Feed the Minds: A project equipping women with agricultural skills in Tanzania

FEED the Minds’ one-year pilot project alongside our local partner organisation, the Development Support Initiative (DSI), in the Nyakahama community of Kagera, Tanzania commenced in January 2024. The objective was to directly enhance the agricultural skills of 177 individuals, including 136 females, to promote income generation, food security, and environmental conservation.

There were many challenges Nyakahama residents were facing. With the help of Nyakahama Farmer’s Business School (NFBS), Feed the Minds, in collaboration with grassroots partner Development Support Initiative (DSI), making a positive change in society even in a short span of time.

Challenges Nyakahama residents facing in Kagera region, Tanzania

The Kagera region in Tanzania is primarily rural, with 75% of its population engaged in subsistence agriculture and 29% living below the nationally defined poverty line (URT, 2005). The region has been grappling with prolonged droughts, diseases, and infestations, which have had adverse effects on productivity per acre. In 2016, an earthquake struck the area, exacerbating food shortages and insecurity. The quake resulted in the loss of 17 lives and left 440 injured, with 252 requiring hospitalisation.

Despite efforts, the region continues to struggle with malnutrition, with statistics indicating that 41% of children are affected, 34.7% suffer from stunted growth, 13.4% are underweight, and 59% have anaemia (DSI, 2021).

Empowering Marginalised Communities in Tanzania through Nyakahama Farmer’s Business School (NFBS)

With the help of Nyakahama Farmer’s Business School (NFBS), Feed the Minds, in collaboration with grassroots partner Development Support Initiative (DSI), is empowering 177 marginalised community members, particularly women, with skills to control their environment and utilise existing resources, enhancing resilience against short-term challenges like disease outbreaks, droughts, and economic downturns.

Feed the Minds: A project equipping women with agricultural skills in Tanzania
Pictured: Trained farmers planting on own plots.

The project has already established 5 demonstration farms, trained 20 smallholder farmers in simple irrigation technology, produced and distributed 40 training manuals, and acquired improved seeds for maize and beans for planting. The trained members have also started providing training to various members at their homes. This will eventually provide a foundation to scale up training in Village Community Banks (VICOBA), collective marketing of agricultural produce.

We are honoured to be working on this new project with the Development Support Initiative (DSI), a grassroots Tanzanian NGO that operates in the north-western Kagera region. DSI collaborates with members of the Nyakahama community, whose commitment to rural community development drives sustainable, locally-led actions for disadvantaged households.

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