ZMAG advises Zanzibaris to venture in organic farming – IPPmedia

Zanzibar Multi-Stakeholder Horticultural Action Group (ZMAG) has said Isles communities can avoid various diseases if they can venture into the effective use of organic food—which are free from inorganic fertilizer during production.
ZMAG members and various agricultural stakeholders made the advice here over the weekend when speaking during a session to review how the VIUNGO project continues to be implemented and bring about changes in the vegetable, fruit and spice sector to bring productivity in the islands.
VIUNGO project is a project aimed to unlock the potential of the horticulture value chain, increase the value and volume of high quality products to markets, and promote inclusive economic growth in Zanzibar
The meeting was made possible by the Zanzibar Ministry of Agriculture and brought on board stakeholders from various institutions including government, non-governmental organizations and farmers.
One of the participants, Ali Abdalla said there are a large number of people in the community who still do not understand the importance of using foods produced from natural fertilizer and “that’s why these days most people continue to use foods produced using chemicals which is very dangerous for health and the land too”.
He said various studies have shown that many people get different diseases from the use of food that ate inorganically produced despite the fact that most of them are aware of the consequences.
“It’s high time for people to know how the crop produced before buying in the market,” he suggested.
An expert from the Zanzibar Ministry of Agriculture Omar Abuubakari said many farmers grow their crop using chemical fertilizer for higher productivity as opposed to the use of natural fertilizer.
In that context, he suggested the need for more efforts including the provision of education to the community so that it can realize the importance of using organically produced food.
Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA- Zanzibar director Dr Mzuri Issa said as they continue to think about the situation it is important to look at both sides considering that chemical fertilizer as business and it’s relied upon by many and organic food is healthier.
“The most important issue here is that for the community to be educated so that they can understand the effects of using foods produced using chemical fertilizer and be shown the benefits of using natural fertilizer,” she suggested.
Dr Mzuri believes that through the system one will be able to provide in-depth education and let’s people themselves decide what products they need to use in their daily lives.
VIUNGO chief project manager Amina Ussi Khamis said it is to empower farmers in Unguja and Pemba through better farming methods, noting that project works to strengthen home food and nutrition security by promoting sustainable crop production, which aims at producing more from small areas of land at home while conserving resources, reducing negative impacts on the environment and enhancing natural capital and the flow of ecosystem services.
VIUNGO project means ‘Zanzibar Value Web, Horticulture, and Income Growth project’, and it also integrates agricultural, gender, financial inclusion and nutritional development efforts to improve smallholder farmers’ productivity and profitability within the horticultural value chain in Zanzibar (Unguja and Pemba).
Khamis mentioned that the project is financed by European Union (EU) for a period of four years (from 2020) with a budget of more than euros5 million, and is implemented by Peoples Development Forum (PDF) in collaborations with Community Forest Pemba (CFP) and Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) in Zanzibar.
The overall objective of the project is to unlock the potential of the horticulture value chain, increase the value and volume of high quality products to markets, and promote inclusive economic growth in Zanzibar. Horticulture is one of the fastest growing subsectors in Tanzania and is dominated by smallholder farmers, offering opportunities to bolster the country’s national economy while directly and immediately improving the incomes of a broad segment of the populace.
Zanzibar is a unique zone within this national context and the VIUNGO project is designed to overcome the specific local challenges of this sub region, such as its limited land base, by leveraging its special advantages. The advantages include a long-established spice growing tradition and relative proximity to high-end markets and major seaports.
The project will also focus on improving horticultural product and smallholder farmers’ income. “This will be through introduction of Climate Smart Horticulture and Good agricultural practices to help in increase production and productivity of quality horticultural products,” she said.
It also enhance improvements in food and nutrition security for smallholder farmers and their families, and that through establishment of permaculture kitchen gardens, and also value addition and local enterprise development with a focus on fair trade partnerships and women’s economic empowerment.
The Project is implemented in nine districts of Zanzibar (four in Pemba and five in Unguja) focusing mainly in vegetable, fruits and spice sub-sectors. The VIUNGO Project aims at reaching 57,974 direct beneficiaries that comprises with horticulture farmers, processors, agro-dealers, and smallholder horticultural traders), whereas among these beneficiaries at least 55 percent are women, 33 percent youth and 12 percent are men.
Dr Ashatu Kijaji.
Constitutional and Legal Affairs deputy minister Geoffrey Pinda (C) pictured with the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mary Makondo (2nd-L), Registrar of Legal Aid Services registrar Felistas Mushi (L), Legal Services Facility – Tanzania CEO Lulu Ng’wanakilala (2nd-R) and Zanzibar NGOs registrar Ahmed Khalid. It was at the conclusion of this year’s edition of the Legal Aid Conference held in Dodoma late last week. Photo: Guardian Correspondent
​​​​​​​Dr Mwigulu Nchemba.
In Tanzania still about 70 to 80 per cent labour is absorbed in this sector. Agricultural progress permits the shift of manpower from agricultural to non-agricultural sector.
Farmers chat near their farm after harvesting maize. Food security stakeholders say community seed banks are key for protection of traditional seed varieties. Photo courtesy of the Internet
Asif Khan.
It is estimated that 1.5million Tanzanians set for social protection.
Vanilla beans in a farm, One kilogramme of the spice fetches between 600,000/- and 800,000/-. Photo courtesy of the internet © 1998-. All rights reserved