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Optimisation of Agricultural Production in Tanzania

Internship and Volunteering Possible
FASO (Fumbuka Agro Solutions Organization) supports young farmers and small agricultural entrepreneurs in Kilimanjaro region. Students of agriculture, agricultural engineering, environmental biology, ecology, and others interested, can take part in the projects. Qualified internships are possible here.

Project Details

Agriculture is still the base of Tanzanian economy; around 80% of Tanzanians work in agriculture, out of which 85% are in food production. Small traditional family-run farms dominate, and work is done using the most simple tools only: in 70% of the cultivation, only a hand plough is used; 20% make use of an ox plough and only 10% make use of a tractor. In most cases, rainwater is the only source of irrigation, therefore agriculture in Tanzania is very seasonal and very much dependent on weather factors. The income of Tanzanian farmers is very low, as all farmers bring the same products to the market; draughts can be devastating to farmers.
Tanzania has a large potential in agricultural production, both for its domestic supply of food (maize, sorghum, millet, rice, wheat, beans, cassava, potatoes, bananas, plantains) and for export (coffee, cotton, cashew nut, tobacco, sisal, pyrenthrum, tea, cloves, spices, flowers, oil seeds). Irrigation is fundamental to higher food security in Tanzania and to improve the productivity and income of farmers. Tanzania has enough fresh water resources to be able to cultivate one million hectares of land in an environmentally sustainable way by setting up irrigation systems; however this is only done with 150,000 hectares so far.
FASO (Fumbuka Agro Solutions Organisation) is an NGO founded in 2010 in Moshi, with the aim to support young farmers and small-scale agricultural entrepreneurs and improve their living standards by raising their skills and productivity. FASO provides training and consulting services, and does research. In Swahili, Fumbuka means "Open your eyes". All members of FASO are 18-35 years old.
There are more women than men working in the agricultural sector in Tanzania, but these women do not have the opportunity to expand their knowledge about agricultural production, which limits their productivity. They also face obstacles in gaining access to funds and basic entrepreneurial skills. It is a focus of FASO to train small-scale female farmers in finance and entrepreneurship skills (control and planning of finances, evaluation of production costs and their relation to sales prices, distribution of agricultural goods, better organization through creation of cooperatives and production groups), and in technical farming skills.
Another target group is young people working in agriculture. They are encouraged to complete Form 7 or to even enroll in university studies, so that the quality of agriculture in Tanzania is raised through higher education levels of farmers. FASO further advocates farmer-friendly youth politics in Tanzania with the aim to provide young farmers access markets, financial means, and further training and education.
FASO is in cooperation with the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Foundation for Civil Society and the Mwangaria Institute of Agriculture and Livestock.
In Kahe, FASO operates green houses for the cultivation of tomatoes, sweet peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, cucumbers and lettuce. The use of green houses reduces the need of land surface and the vegetables are protected from insects and adverse weather conditions. Techniques of organic farming and drying of food for preservation are tested.
FASO further cooperates with the Mwangaria Institute of Agriculture and Livestock in plant tissue culture development, optimization of pest and fertilizer management, and doing research related to soil preparation, irrigation methods and post-harvest management.
These methods are taught to farmers through seminars, and the farmers are supported in the use of these techniques.
Students of agriculture, biology, ecology, etc. can participate in the agricultural projects of FASO; qualified internships are also possible. Those without relevant qualifications can also join agricultural activities while living in a Tanzanian village.

Volunteers can further assist in literacy training and education for farmers, and can start small educational gardens at schools to teach children and youth about environmentally-friendly farming.
Info Box
Location: Moshi, Tanzania
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 2 Weeks
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Swahili
Shared Accommodation, Host Family, Hotel
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Various university degrees
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
No formal qualification required
Further Contribution To Project: Yes, 35 USD/week
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: Yes, 35 USD/week
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

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