Ms. Hilda Madeje, a sorghum farmer in Sagala B village in Kongwa district, Dodoma region now has a reliable market for 30 sacks of sorghum which is an increase of 70% compared to previous years. This has enabled her to get sufficient money to build a house to live with her family and pay school fees for her four children.
Ms. Madeje is one of the participants in the sorghum pilot farming project of TBL Plc, the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) and the World Food Program (WFP), which aimed to empower sorghum farmers with modern tactics of farming the crops by providing them with better sorghum seeds and increasing harvest while ensuring a reliable market for their harvest.
This joint venture project started in January 2020 where TBL Plc agreed to buy sorghum produced by farmers in Dodoma region, TBL Plc, FtMa and WFP helped the farmers get sorghum seeds; crop insurance; protocols management for sorghum crop; agricultural extension services; as well as better integration and a reliable market so that they can increase their harvest.
Speaking during last season’s assessment conducted in Dodoma region last week, TBL Plc Agriculture Manager Joel Msechu said that TBL Plc paid a total of Tzs 1.75 billion to smallholder farmers for the purchase of 3,000 tonnes of sorghum produced in Mpwapwa district, Kongwa, Kondoa, Bahi and Chamwino in Dodoma region, where each kilogram of sorghum was bought for 550 shillings. “The project has had good results and improved the livelihoods of sorghum farmers,” he added.
According to Msechu, the company currently buys 74% of its raw materials in the country and is committed to increasing the level of purchasing raw materials in the country in the coming years. TBL Plc plans to collaborate with about 6,000 sorghum farmers in the 2020-2021 seasons to meet its demand for 10,000 tons of sorghum for the production of its Eagle and Champion brands.
Speaking at the evaluation meeting, WFP Representative Lusajo Bukuku stated before the project was launched, farmers were producing 3 to 4 sacks of sorghum per acre. Due to good farming practices and good management, their harvest has now increased to around 10 to 11 sacks per acre.
Farm Africa Representative William Mwakyami said through the project, their institute has helped empower 846 farmers who have benefited by increasing their income from more increase in output compared to previous production before the project and have been able to have a reliable market for their harvest.
Acting Kongwa District Agricultural Officer, Ms. Amina Msangi, stated that before the launch of this project farmers were facing various challenges including the lack of a reliable market for their harvest. He called on farmers to take advantage of this reliable market opportunity available to help them overcome their standard of living.
TBL Plc’s plans to purchase raw materials in the country is one of the company’s contributions that goes hand in hand with the success of the Government’s efforts in boosting the Tanzanian economy.
In 2018, ABInBev committed itself to providing skills, integrating and financial empowerment to farmers by 2025. As a result of this strategy, TBL Plc has made investments aimed at uplifting smallholder farmers in Tanzania by introducing various services – Agricultural Sale. Using text messaging to provide them with various information such as weather forecast, marketing information, professional advice, loan service for agricultural supplies, training on financial matters and procurement of quality agricultural supplies and their use, results of research on the best sorghum seeds to be produced in the country, modern farming techniques along with assisting them throughout the growing season so that they can stand up and do better.