Although Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world and is home to roughly 125 diverse ethnic groups, it has enjoyed political stability for most of the past four decades and has had economic growth of 5% per year in recent years. The most important economic sector in Tanzania is agriculture, which employs four-fifths of the population and generates nearly one half of the gross domestic product. The population has not, however, benefited equally from this economic growth. The poorest Tanzanians, who mostly live in rural areas, have been virtually unaffected by the economic changes. One part of the problem is certainly the poor transportation infrastructure, uncertain water supply, and insufficient and largely nonexistent power supply. Even more serious are the traditional and outdated methods used by local farmers that no longer meet current economic or environmental needs. Many farmers simply do not know how they can increase their productivity and quality or where they can get the best prices for their products.
The project mainly facilitates development of agriculture, life and natural resource management skills training; access to financial services; market linkages between producers, buyers and other actors. The project also promotes dialogue and collaboration between stakeholder and other actors and further strengthen capacity of trainers, facilitators and resource persons.
During the reporting year, our project activities reached 866 new beneficiaries, of whom 276 are farmers and 590 youth, with women constituting 41% of the total. During this phase, our project outreach thus expanded to a total 1,404 farmers (47% women) and 1,150 youth (40% women) who have benefited from skills development trainings in agriculture.
We reached the 40% target percentage participation of women in both groups. Considering that agriculture traditionally has been dominated by men, this is quite an impressive achievement.
Our smallholder farmers and youth beneficiaries were able to increase their incomes significantly by an average of CHF 136 and CHF 86, respectively. These increases may seem modest, but they represent an increase of 20-40% per beneficiary and a notable improvement in their living situation. With regard to employment rates, our assessments have shown that 70-80% of youth have found employment or ran their own business after completing the trainings.
2017 - 2020