Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania – MVIWATA effected a four (4) days training to 49 smallholder farmers members of MVIWATA from Kilimanjaro. The training was conducted at MVIWATA Headquarters and it also involved field visits to smallholder farmers’ members of MVIWATA in Kilosa and Morogoro rural Districts.
Realization of MVIWATA’s mission, vision and its strategic goals were key part of the training.
The visits were effected at Mvumi, Rudewa and Chanzuru wards in Kilosa District whereby smallholder farmers’ members from Kilimanjaro and those in respective areas exchanged by expressing their challenges, opportunities and on how MVIWATA as a national organization has unified them in advocating for their interests.
Smallholder farmers in Kilosa District expressed their challenges, namely invasion of their land by investors and the government authorities’ inability to address the particular challenge, unclear framework of land redistribution where title deeds were revoked by the president, conflict between farmers and pastoralists, selling and buying of crops without the use of proper units of measurement (Lumbesa) by buyers leading to exploitation of smallholder farmers.
Advocacy on land security for smallholder farmers is part of the strategies of MVIWATA. Smallholder farmers in Kilosa have so far received a number of trainings provided by MVIWATA on land policy and laws including women’s right to access and control land.
During the exchange visit’s dialogue, smallholder farmers from Kilosa District called upon the President of United Republic of Tanzania His, Excellency Dr, John Pombe Magufuli to intervene as the last hope to solve the land disputes in Kilosa.
Rural poor farmers depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods, but the majority have limited access to land in Kilosa District.
Likewise an exchange visit for farmers from Kilimanjaro was effected at Kinole ward Morogoro rural District where the visitors witnessed a number of activities done by MVIWATA in the area. These includes the Tandai market, Chief Kingalu Mwanabanzi XIV farmers training centre and the Kinole SACCOS which was initiated as a result of MVIWATA efforts. Farmer to farmer exchange visits under MVIWATA during trainings are part and means to build and achieve national solidarity and unity of smallholder producers.
It also helps to realize the mission, vision and strategic areas of activity implementation by MVIWATA that aims to unite smallholder farmers in groups and networks on a national scale in order to protect their interests through capacity development, facilitating communication and advocacy on policies and systems.