Agriculture accounts for 30% of the GDP and 80% of the labor force in Tanzania with a population of 53 million. 70% of the Agricultural GDP is produced by women. Over 46% of the population lives below the extreme poverty threshold of $1.90 a day. Approximately 35% of the population is lacking nutritional food. 73% of the population lives in the rural areas and are cultivating farms of 5 acres or less and make up 80% of Agricultural GDP. For main populous of Tanzanian to get out of poverty, agricultural development for the small scale farmer must be the focus.
Kilimo Timilifu (KT) is registered in Tanzania as a non-profit, grass roots organization that works directly with small scale farmers. KT is located in the village of Mchinga Mbili, in the Lindi region of Tanzania. This is within the lowest rainfall area along the entire Tanzanian coast line. Coastal farmlands are some of the worst farm lands in Tanzania due to low rainfall, high acid, and the erosion of topsoil. This location is strategic in that it needs the most help. We are training small scale farmers to be successful, even with less than ideal soil.
KT is both a non-profit business and a farmer training center. The growing business will eventually support itself and the farmer training center. It is our goal to be operationally self-funded through the business by 2020.
KT’s business has two overlapping focuses. One is to be a functional business with some profits that are in turn reinvested into the farmer training center. The other focus is to provide good crop markets and crop value additions to the local small scale farmers, the surrounding communities as far and wide as we can reach, and for these in the internship program.
KT’s farming training is also twofold. First is our Extension Programs, whereby KT is working with the local communities, providing small scale farmer training, crop yield increase, better farming practices, crop value addition training (processing crops in such a way that they are worth more on the market) and community wide marketing strategies. This is scalable to more surrounding villages as we grow. Second is our internship program, whereby KT invites small scale farmers from any were in Tanzania to live for one farming season on our farm. They farm a portion of KT’s farm land. They are trained both in the field and in the classroom in small scale farming for profit. Their crops are sold through KT’s crop marketing strategy. The profit from these sales covers the intern’s cost of the training program as well as profit which the interns are able to keep. Successful completion of the internship program earns a certificate as Conservation Agricultural Trainer. This empowers them to change their own life as well as the lives of those at home. And since our training program is in one of the worse farming locations in Tanzania, success will come even easier once the intern returns home or moves on.
KT wants to see the following realities come to fruition:
- Trained small scale farmers who are training others.
- Trained small scale farmers who are connecting other small scale farmers to community wide marketing strategies.
- Increased food security.
- Poverty reduction among those who need it the most.
- Christian integrity in crop marketing and profit sharing.
How You Can Help
KT is a young organization still growing towards self-sufficiency. Our greatest needs are operational expenses and capital development. Please feel free to contact us if you need specifics, and we will gladly share with you all our current projects and plans.