We have been working with a Finnish nonprofit organisation called FFD – Food and Forest Development Finland. FFD has been supporting agricultural and forestry organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America since 2012.
Thanks to FFD we were able to meet Tanzanian farming experts in FFD´s 10 anniversary in Helsinki. Experts Faraja and Ernest are both working for NADO (Njombe Agricultural Development Organization). Faraja works as a planning and marketing officer. Ernest is both a cultural development officer and an agricultural expert.
Tanzania is classified as an emerging economy, but relies heavily on agriculture and livestock farming. According to the Globalis database of the Finnish UN Association, Tanzania is three times larger than Finland’s but has 67 million inhabitants and population continues to grow rapidly. Mothers give birth to an average of 4.6 children, although this so-called fertility rate has been declining in the past decade. The country is poor; average incomes are about 3100 dollars per capita (59000 in Finland). The proportion of undernourished people is as high as 30 percent of the population. In the Human Development Index (HDI), the country ranks 157th out of 188 (Finland’s ranking is 10th out of 188).
Tanzania is one of the areas that suffer particularly from the consequences of climate change. The region faces severe drought, and when it rains, it pours so much that it washes away the planted seeds from the soil. Currently, drought is a major problem. Only slightly over ten percent of the population has access to clean water.
This is what Faraja and Ernest told us about NADO and their country.
Could you tell us briefly about NADO’s activities and its goals in Tanzania?
- Faraja: ”NADO is a member based agricultural organization working in Tanzania. We are working with small farmers who produce crops. We are growing potatoes, corn, suflower, beans, fruits, and other vegetables. What we do is provide agricultural training and technologies. Training farmers in business school and record-keeping (keeping records of farm activities).”
How does NADO assess the effects of its activities in Tanzania? Do you have metrics or methods to monitor the effects?
- Faraja: ”First of all, we do a baseline survey. We have baseline information for planning different projects. Tool for collecting data to see whatever data farmers have collected. We collect data on production and income.”
How does NADO cooperate with local communities in Tanzania?
- Ernest: ”We cooperate with the local communities through meetings. The usual connections tell us what they have and what they lack through workshops and collaborations with local government authorities. ”
And what are NADO’s future plans and goals in Tanzania?
- Ernest: ”As Nado, we have a goal to become the center of excellent training for farmers in good agricultural practices on the market, linking the financial situation so that they can improve their productivity and so that they can learn, invest, and learn about sustainable agriculture.”
We have read in our newspapers that Kenya have had lots of success in corn growth. Is it the same in Tanzania?
Faraja: ”If we compare to the recent years, this year was quite good in terms of the harvests of avocados, potatoes, corn and various types of beans because the rainfall amounts were suitable. In previous years, there has been such extreme drought and, on the other hand, such intense rainy seasons that some farmers didn’t really get any harvest at all. So, we are completely at the mercy of the weather conditions in Tanzania.”
Text and interview: Climate Warrioirs FFD-group Nikolas Pirttisalo, Amanda Larikka, Anni Salmijärvi
FFD picture: Janita Jamalainen
Other pictures: Faraja Maguhu