Smallholder farmers in Tanzania constitutes about sixty eight percent of the workforce in farming, both in rural and urban areas. However, eighty three percent of all holdings are run by small family farmers who dominate the agricultural sector by contributing around seventy five percent of the total agricultural output. Livestock, poultry and fishing play an important role in the economy of a Tanzanian small family farm; the second source of income.
Smallholder farmers are placed at the centre of almost all agricultural policies and strategies in Tanzania, and in order to effectively utilise such opportunities and overcome structural and policy challenges, smallholder farmers’ awareness as a working class towards impediments they face is really vital.
To effect this role of awareness creation and capacity building to smallholder farmers leaders, Mtandao wa Vikundi Tanzania (MVIWATA) a member based organization is organizing trainings to leaders of farmers groups at regional and district levels.
The trainings focuses on mobilising and leading farmers groups, advocacy at grassroots level, understanding the essence of class struggles in the society, political economy and modes of production, the philosophy, vision and mission of MVIWATA, government strategies and priorities in agriculture and lastly smallholder farmers’ formation and management of financial services (VICOBA and SACCOS).
Speaking before Morogoro District Commissioner Hon, Regina Chonjo during closing of six days training to 42 smallholder farmers from Dodoma, Manyara and Morogoro regions organized at MVIWATA Headquarters, MVIWATA Executive Director Mr, Stephen Ruvuga said such trainings are party of MVIWATA’s strategy to capacitate smallholder farmers with awareness of issues surrounding their production systems.
Hon, Regina Chonjo on her side praised the initiatives waged by MVIWATA for being an exemplary and outstanding mode of farmers association in the country. She said the government of Tanzania recognises the vital role played by MVIWATA to smallholder farmers in Tanzania. She as well urged participants of the trainings to be good ambassadors and transfer the knowledge gained to fellow smallholder farmers in their respective groups.
These trainings are preceded by trainings on preventive measures against the COVID-19 disease to participants by a medical doctor. Preventive measures against COVID-19 disease are always in place during trainings organized by MVIWATA as part of adopting to the “new normal”.
MVIWATA ensures these recommended precautions and social distancing practices to aid in the slowing of the spread of Covid-19 and encourages everyone to take measures to keep themselves and our community healthy and safe.