Lindi District Commissioner Visit

Today we had the great privilege of giving a tour of KT to the Lindi District Commissioner. With his delegates, including Mashujaa TV and iTV, he stopped by and KT had the privilege of sharing with him all we are doing to alleviate poverty and even some time to actually show him around our property.

As a parting gift, KT gave a 5-liter jug of pure sunflower oil and a fat rooster to the Commissioner. We look forward to his next visit, which he promised would be soon.

Sunflower Oil Mill

KT’s oil mill is all ready logistically. We have started processing local customers’ seed for their own use, but selling oil under our own label is still waiting for the Tanzania Bureau of Standards and Tanzania Food & Drug Association to give their final go-ahead.

Today we had the privilege of the District Commissioner for Lindi coming to take a tour of KT (above right in the white hardhat).

We still need startup capital to purchase seed from local farmers. Please consider giving a gift for our sunflower startup capital. This gift will keep on giving as income generated this year will allow us to purchase seed again next year. The more startup capital we have the more poor farmers we will help this year and every year after.

Chickens for Villages

KT is raising chickens, an improved local variety called Kroiler (and NOT to be confused with broiler). We had about 2000 chickens but are now thinning out the roster of the first two batches. We plan to raise the rest of the hens and a few roosters for parent stock. By October we will start breeding and hopefully by November have our first new generation of KT birds.

The goal is to breed chicks and then supply chicks, feed, vaccines and medications as necessary and whatever else is needed for the local villages to be able to be growers. They grow the chickens to full weight and then bring them back to KT for sale. KT slaughters, packages, freezes and markets. A win-win for everyone involved.

Consider supporting our sustainable chicken project until it is sustainable in about one more year.

Mchinga Secondary School Graduation

KT was given the privilege of being the guest of honor at the local village secondary school. This school has about 450 students. The school property borders KT’s farm. We have had the privilege of hosting each of the secondary school classes on our farm as part of our agricultural extension program. This is also the school for which KT is supplying water for all the teachers’ homes and all the lavatories on the school property.

Mwassa Jingi, KT’s Operations Manager and Company Secretary, was the main speaker, challenging the graduating class not to stop their education at this point but to always keep learning in whatever capacity available.

Chicken coop #1 almost done!

KT is nearly finished with the first chicken coop. This coop will be able to raise nearly 2,000 chickens at a time. We are intending to start with a broiler variety that is a crossbreed between traditional broilers and local African varieties that are much stronger. Eventually we expect to raise layers also. Our long-term goal is actually to become a breeder and have our interns and local farmers be the growers. But this chicken coop is the starting point. We are researching all the ins and outs of the laws here in Tanzania to make sure we have everything in order so we can start as soon as possible with this operation.

Chicken Coop

This is KT’s first Chicken coop. A large area to keep chickens. The coop protects the poor farming neighbors vegetable gardens from thieving non cooped chickens, it protects the chickens from a wide range of predators, it protects the chickens from other fowl diseases by not allowing other fowl to come in contact with them. Chickens will be free to roam safe inside the large coop. In our context, it’s the best for everyone.

This one building will have two large coops and one smaller quarantine coop for new flock introductions. These coops will be used to train interns in chicken production and marketing. We expect this to group into a business that supports the interns and internship program.

Primary School Classrooms

While training in agriculture and cooperative markets is our focus, at Kilimo Timilifu (KT) we are also trying to help the local primary school. The Mchinga Mbili Primary School had only five classrooms for seven grades. We have just completed building two brand new fully-furnished classrooms for the community school. The school, students, parents and local village government were very grateful. We were glad to help out in this way.

The total project cost was $11,930 USD. We were able to raise $5,000 USD before we started building. But due to the urgency of this need, we went ahead with this project. We are still in need of $6,930 to complete the budget for this project. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the classroom project to help us cover these costs, please follow this link and donate at the bottom of the page and add the word “Classroom” in the comment line of your donation.

2017 In Review…

Many things have been happening here at KT.  Although this post was meant to be written in December, here it is now: 2017 in Review.

January 2017

With the foundation of the warehouse/office building almost finished, our work crew continued to work on the building.

After meeting with village leaders, we relinquished some disputed land and acquired some to replace it.  Our boundary lines subsequently changed shape slightly.

On the farm, we planted sunflower to provide us with seed to sell in the following year.

February 2017

With the help of our short-term Volunteer, Don, our work crew finished the foundation slab for the warehouse and office.

Justina was hired as a farm supervisor.  Amani came on staff as the future educator of intern children, and began filling in as office manager.

A generous donation allowed us to buy KT’s first vehicle, a suzuki carry.

March 2017

After input from the village, we began building a road to our warehouse/office site.

Robert was hired as an additional farm supervisor and began preparing for the future sunflower business and extension program.

April 2017

On the farm we were busy planting cover crops for the dry season.

The building crew continued to work on the warehouse/office building.

May 2017

Our entire staff took a weekend off for retreat and team building.

June 2017

Geofrey joined our team as accountant, and immediately began the job of getting books and finances in order.

Our sunflower crop was harvested and seed was stored for next year’s plantings.

July 2017

We hosted a short-term team from GoMAD.  They came to begin work on 2 15,000L  rain tanks next to the warehouse/office building.

August 2017

GoMAD sent their second short term team who completed the water tanks

Our warehouse/office building was roofed.

Tim Watkins, from ECHO, spent two weeks with us helping to develop a complete agro-forestry farm plan.

Robert went on a tour with the Agha Khan Organization in Lindi to get an overview of the Tanzaninan Sunflower Industry.

September 2017

Work continued on the warehouse/office building.  For the first time ever, we were able to lock it!

October 2017

We hosted a ‘Theology of Agriculture’ seminar led by Bret Harrison for our KT staff and some local pastors and evangelists.

We began building a reservoir on our land.

We started a nursery for our tree planting program.

The second floor was put in in the warehouse, and stairs were built to access it.

November 2017

Stage one of the reservoir was completed.

While the heavy machinery was on site for the reservoir building, we had a new south service road built to the KT property, which also opened up some land for village expansion.

Matei was sent to Iringa for a bee-keeper training.

December 2017

With the coming of the rains, our reservoir began to fill up.

We neared completion on the well water pumping project which will not only provide water to KT’s land, but also to the local secondary school that sits just below us on the hill.

We began planting 5,000 agro-forestry, multi-purpose, and fruit trees on KT land.

We celebrated Christmas with KT staff and family members with a pilau meal and film showing.  It turns out that the second floor of our warehouse makes an excellent movie theater!

May 2016

Rainy Season ending / Not quite harvest time.

Sunflower Big
God has blessed this rainy season with good rains. It’s coming to the end of the rainy season. We expect the rains to stop within this month. In addition to our restorative cropping this year, we did try our hand at Sunflower as we see a big market potential. We are pretty happy with the results so far. We still need to survive the birds as the sunflower heads dry out. But we are excited about it so far. (Sunflowers are growing in the “KT Additional farm land”. See the map below for Farm land locations.)
Pidgon Pea

Most of our fields have been planted with restorative cropping. Pigeon pea was planted first to give it ahead start. Then macuna bean, jack bean and lab-lab bean were relay planted in between. So far so good! (See the map below for Main Farm land location.)

Intern Duplex

InterDuplex 2016-04
We are still coming along with the first Inter Duplex.  This duplex will first be lived in by KT personnel.  After further property developments on the KT Farm land, this house will be divided into a duplex and will house interns for the internship program. (See the map below for Intern Duplex location.)

Well & Water on the Farm Property

Service Road blockage  KT 1st Well 
We are having some access complications to our farm site. The location the village council showed us and allowed us to put in a road to our site happens to go through a parcel of land belonging to a elderly man in the village. This man has been bothered with us driving on his property. We, of coarse, had know idea. But one day we discovered lots of plants planted right down the middle of the road. So we are trying to work things out. The issues is really for the village council to sort this out, as we only did what we were told to do. But since the older men don’t hold much value in the younger village council, matters like this can take a while to sort out. So while we have prepared the second well site, we can not bring a large truck on to the property at the moment.(See map below for well locations and service road.)

Seed Bank & Warehouse

Seed Bank Hole Done
It’s been a few months now, since we completed the excavation (by hand) for our under ground seed bank and ground level warehouse on top.  However, this project is on hold due to funding and shortness of staff. (See map below for seed bank location.)


Beekeeping 04
We have four bee hives in local forested land. It’s bee swarming season and we are hoping to catch a few swarms.

New Staff Housing and storage construction

Out Staff & Storage building is complete and being lived in now.  This building is in full use.  This past month we added the big awning over the back side to use as a work area.  After other developments are complete, this storage room will eventually become a Farm Supply store.  This will help local farmers have access to much needed supplies as well as providing an income for KT in the future.  In the mean time this is sort of an all purpose building. (See map below for Staff Housing and storeroom location.)

Demonstration Plot

The demonstration plot is now in full service.  The fence keeps the goats and cows out.  Mulching keeps the moisture in. This plot is ideally located half way between the village (North to South) and on the main path headed up the hill to the west where every one in the village has farm land, including KT.  This location will be very visible to all residents of Mchinga Mbili village.  However, before KT owned this property, there was a major village path right on top of it.  The path has now moved to the side, which is great, but it will take a season or two for the soil structure heal and nutrient levels to come back.   We will have more demonstrations on our main farm land up the hill to the west, but this plot we hope will catch everyone’s eye initially.  (See map below for demo plot location.)

Map of how KT is growing & developing

KT Google Map-2016-04

Click on the map to the left to enlarge.

Click again to zoom even more.