Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Tanzania Food Security & VSLA Program
The majority of the people in Central Tanganyika are engaged in smallholder, subsistence agriculture. Many households also have some degree of livestock production. The transition from subsistence to market economy is very slow due to various factors, such as: natural and man-made disasters (i.e. drought); inadequate social and economic infrastructures; poor access to agricultural technology, inputs and equipment; and very low education base. The rapid degradation of the environment is due to poor soil management, uncontrolled livestock grazing, deforestation, overpopulation and water shortages. By promoting Conservation Agriculture and the formation of Village Savings & Loans Associations (VSLAs), the long term goal of DCT-DSC is to help the people living within the Diocese to achieve food security in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. Objectives are generally related to achieving self sufficiency in food grain production through use of minimum tillage, improved seeds, retention of crop residue, crop rotation and proper storage techniques. Both men and women will directly or indirectly benefit from the project in 6-8 villages within 4 parishes. Indirect beneficiaries are expected to be more numerous as most of the technologies are transferable by just copying or purchasing the inputs required. Government agricultural extension agents play a key role in reinforcing CA skills and knowledge relayed through program supported field trainings. DCT-DSC has recently initiated VSLA interventions in several of the Diocese project sites. Discussions and initial results from the pilot VSLA's show that members, mostly women, desire funds for small business activities. Small commerce allows women to set aside much-needed money for children's school supplies and food.
Train 180 farmers on improved - drought tolerant seeds, crop diversity, intercropping and rotation, Conduct demo training with 20 farmers on ripping to reduce labor amongst Conservation Agriculture (CA) farmers, Train 180 farmers on on-farm seed selection and grain storage techniques (Demo) to reduce post-harvest losses, Construct 12 storage units for crops, Mobilize and train 180 farmers on CA principles, Train 180 farmers on cover crops (CC) and green manures (GM) for soil moisture and fertility improvement, Conduct demo training with 12 farmers on tree planting and FMNR (Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration),Mobilize and sensitize 150 key community members (i.e. local authorities) on by-laws on control of fire and livestock on cropping land, Plant 2100 trees to help conserve soil and water, Distribute 360 kgs of cover crop and green manure to farmers, Train 400 farmers on savings with education methodology and entre-preneurship skills, Train 6 Village Agents (VAs)/Trainers on savings with education methodology and entrepreneurship skills, Mobilize 220 farmers on savings and lending associations, Train 60 management committee members on savings methodology and entrepreneurship skills
- Economic Recovery and Development