Farming for the Future. In the Present.
“The demonstration plot here at the farmer field school has helped me a lot,” says David. He is a young coffee farmer whose hands-on training is enabling him to improve all aspects of his farm-management practices.
“What I’ve learned at the school I have adapted and used on my own farm,” he says.
He has a plot of land where he grows coffee trees, his main source of income. After instruction in Conservation Agriculture at the field school, he decided to dedicate three acres of his land to growing maize and an additional 2.5 acres to beans.
“For example, for beans, I now know how to use correct plant spacing, good methods of harvesting, and some great new techniques for storage. Before I learned about spacing beans, I just planted them randomly. I’m sure that was part of the problem of low yields.”
The program addresses both cash and food crop production. It aims to familiarize farmers like David with climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies to ensure household food security and improve income. As the agriculture sector in Tanzania becomes more modernized, dynamic, productive and profitable, it’s important that smallholders like David be able to thrive.
Says David of the evolution in his attitudes toward farming, “Before, I didn’t use to invest much, yet I expected to have an income from farming. Now I’ve learned that you must invest so that you can earn more.”
Tanzania Mbeya Program
Led by Catholic Relief Services