Author Archives: Charity Gichobi

Focused on Growth: Rice Production in Tanzania

SEATTLE — Tanzania’s Government launched the Expanding Rice Production Project (ERPP) on March 12, 2015, in an effort to boost rice production, increase food security and strengthen the country’s agricultural sector. The project commenced in Morogoro, Tanzania’s mainland and Zanzibar, thanks to the government’s partnership with the Global Agriculture Food and Security Program. The ERPP is specifically focused on improving agricultural practices for small-scale farmers and farms run by women.

Effect on Income

Tanzania’s agricultural sector makes up 25 percent of the country’s GDP and employs 75 percent of the population. Since its launch, the ERPP has improved rice productivity and irrigation systems, as well as linked small farmers to markets to sell their produce. The increase in income has come through the sustainable seed systems implemented and the improvements in production technology. Because of the ERPP, farmers learned a new farming technique called System of Rice Intensification (SRI), which increased rice productivity by changing the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients. In mainland Tanzania, the average number of farmers producing rice paddies rose from 1.8 percent in January 2014 to 5.4 percent as of May 24, 2019 thanks to this program.

Effect on Food Security

The Expanding Rice Production Project has made an impact on food security by quickly and effectively increasing rice production in Tanzania. More than 13,000 people had benefited from the program as of December of 2017 with rice farmers tripling production.

Effect of/on Women

Out of the 13,369 people who have benefited from Tanzania’s Expanding Rice Production Project, 36 percent were women. Across Africa as a whole, women make up about 60 percent of the agricultural workforce and Tanzania is no exception. Many of the small farms in the country are run by women, most of whom have adapted the ERPP. Prior to participating in the program, despite being deeply involved in agricultural work, many women had limited access to production technology. As a result, this limited the potential growth of the sector. But, since the Expanding Rice Production Project introduced new technologies, women have been more actively involved in the agricultural field and their families have benefitted from raised standards of living.

Effect on Poverty

The overarching goal of focusing on bolstering rice production in Tanzania is to reduce long-term poverty. This is achievable through the new agricultural technologies that have been implemented in the country, as well as the new connections to global markets. By strengthening agriculture, and increasing food security, smallholder farmers will have less of a risk of falling back into poverty because fluctuation in food prices will decrease.

Tanzania’s Expanding Rice Production Project is expected to help 165,345 people by the end of the program in late April 2020.

On-farm testing of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in lowlands ecology in Niger

Lowlands’s ecology represents nearly half of the agro forestry region irrigated
for rice in Niger. This research aimed at evaluating practices of System of Rice
Intensification (SRI) in these ecologies. On-farm testing was conducted in three (3)
different regions (Tahoua, Zinder and Dosso). SRI practices in these regions were
compared to conventional rice production system. Forty-five (45) producers were
selected and each implemented the two (2) systems for comparison. Variables
compared included tillers production and paddy yield. Results showed clearly that
relative to conventional practice, SRI package increases tiller production by 45% and
paddy yield by 58.2%. Furthermore, results showed that 55.5% of producers
implemented thoroughly SRI package, and 11% of producers applied it moderately.
Despite their moderate usage of SRI package, this last group of producers also got
promising gain on their investment. Up scaling SRI practices of rice growers in
lowlands ecology has a high potential of increasing rice growers returns.

Article Citation:
Haougui Adamou, Mossi Maïga Illiassou, Sido Yacouba Amir, Basso Adamou,
Bibata Ali, Bizo Naroua Mamadou, Salami Issoufou and Salmou Abdoulkarim
On-farm testing of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in lowlands ecology in Niger
Journal of Research in Biology (2019) 9(4): 2693-2700

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PNSADR-IM: Cooperatives to improve the living conditions of households

Funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Government of Burundi, the PNSADR-IM is at work in the Imbo region in the communes of Mpanda, Buganda, Rugombo, Gihanga and Mutimbuzi to improve the living conditions of households. Dairy and rice cooperatives have been created. Which allowed the beneficiaries to develop

Fidès Nduwayo, expert in the organization of producers and cooperatives in the Imbo region within the PNSADR-IM: “We have built milk collection centers to help the beneficiaries of cattle granted by the PNSADR-IM but also ‘other private breeders in the area’

“The PNSADR-IM has been working for more than 3 years with the dairy and rice cooperatives of the Imbo region. For milk, we gave dairy cows to the people. We organize the farmers in cooperatives to be able to sell all their production because the major problem was to find where to sell the milk. We have built milk collection centers to help the beneficiaries of the cattle granted by the PNSADR-IM but also other private breeders of the locality, “says Mrs. Fidès Nduwayo, expert in the organization of producers and cooperatives in the region the Imbo within the PNSADR-IM. Beneficiaries are well aware of contributing up to 10% of the value of buildings and 10% of the value of equipment. It’s a way to make them responsible for maintaining them well after the project is closed. The two existing milk collection centers cost about 140 million FBu and the six storage sheds of the rice cooperatives cost more than 900 million FBu.

Good agricultural practices have increased production

The Farmer Field Schools (CEP) allowed rice farmers in Gihanga commune to significantly increase production. The CEP is a comparative approach between the so-called peasant practice and the Rice Intensive System (IRS), which is a better method to help rice farmers break with the old practice. “One of the expected results of the Field School Producer is that the producer is autonomous compared to the extension,” says Ms. Fidès Nduwayo. SRI gives farmers good production without spending a lot of money. “The system does not require a lot of seeds, as is the case with the old practice: only one seed can produce enough as long as the golden rule is followed.”

Thanks to cooperatives, rice farmers have been able to increase yields. Also, it becomes easy for them to sell the production at a better price.

The PNSADR-IM has set up agronomists to supervise the farmers who work with this program. The intensive rice farming system has saved time and resources compared to the old system. “For example, on 1 ha instead of using 100 kg of seed, rice farmers can use 20 kg,” said Stany Nsabimana, one of the local rice farmers. He says they used to grow without worrying about good farming practices. Reason why the yield was not good.

Rice cooperatives to enhance production and combat usury

Rubin Sibomana, vice-president of the Seed Multiplication and Rice Marketing Cooperative “COMUSECORI” located in Rugombo commune, said that if it had not been for the PNSADR-IM, they would continue to take on more debt. Previously, everyone worked for themselves. The PNSADR-IM trained them on the benefits of working in groups through cooperatives. In addition, he built a large storage shed for improved rice conservation. They numbered 21, but now there are 350 of whom 262 are men and 88 are women. Production did not exceed 100 tons of rice per crop. Currently, production is around 2500 tons of rice per crop. There are no more members of the cooperative who resort to usury to save their families from hunger. When you need money, we credit the cooperative and the problem is solved. Sibomana reports that this program has given them pallets and moisture meters. It has built 6 storage sheds for rice cooperatives in the Imbo region (2 in Rugombo, 2 in Gihanga and 2 in Mpanda). Brand new shellers are already installed.

The rice cooperatives financed by PNSADR-IM have been able to benefit from the husking machines with the aim of helping to improve the transformation and the valorization of the rice.

In Rugombo commune, the members of the cooperative “Muceriwacu” supervised by the PNSADR-IM do not hide their satisfaction. “Since 2015, the year in which the PNSADR-IM started to support us, our cooperative has made significant progress,” says Chantal Ndayizeye, a woman member of this cooperative. Among other things, it cites the capacity building of cooperative members in modern rice production through the intensive rice system. Thus, thanks to the training received, the production of rice per hectare has increased. She went from 50 bags to more than 80 bags of rice on the same plot. For her, the benefits of joining a cooperative are enormous. “It is easy to sell rice production at a good price. Moreover, the members of the cooperative receive chemical fertilizers at an affordable price, sometimes even on credit refundable at the time of harvest, “she adds. Before she joined the cooperative, Ndayizeye acknowledged that in case of illness, getting treatment was a headache. In addition to the money the co-op disburses, members contribute to supplement health care bills for members. Each year, they share the profits obtained from rice sales.

The milk collection center is very beneficial to the farmers because the milk is recovered before being sold. Carefully tested, it is then sold to manufacturers and different cafeterias.

During the cropping season, farmers faced a problem of lack of liquidity. Henceforth, acquiring an input credit (chemical fertilizer and seeds) or agricultural credit (labor payment) is no longer a burden for these rice producers.

The milk collection centers at the service of breeders 

According to Pascal Nsavyimana, member of the board of directors of the “Vumerinka” dairy cooperative of the commune Rugombo, the PNSADR-IM built a milk collection center equipped with tanks that can hold 100 liters of milk. He also gave them bicycles to collect the milk. The members of this cooperative contribute 10% of the value of the infrastructure. “Before the establishment of this center, the farmers had trouble selling the milk. Often, milk was even given on credit to the owners of the local cafeterias for lack of a market for the sale, “says Vital Girukwishaka, a farmer who came to sell his milk to the cooperative” Vumerinka “. According to Fidès Nduwayo, the milk collection center is very beneficial for farmers because the milk is recovered before being sold. “The milk is thoroughly tested and sold to manufacturers and different cafeterias. Farmers find a gain, because they have a safe market to sell their production. The CCLs are structured by municipality. So far, we have already structured two CCLs, one in the Rugombo commune and another in the Buganda commune, “she says.

Success, but also prospects

The PNSADR-IM plans to build two other milk collection centers, one in Gihanga commune and another in Mutimbuzi commune. “Since there are many breeders in Gihanga, we also plan to set up a mini-dairy so that the beneficiaries of the PNSADR-IM cattle and other farmers do not spend a lot of money to sell the milk elsewhere. Adds Ms. Nduwayo.

As for rice farming, it is planned to support 14 rice cooperatives in the Imbo region. “We already have 13 operational rice cooperatives with 6 rice storage sheds built. We work at the links of collection, conservation, processing, but also marketing, “she said. The collection and storage is done at the hangars, the processing is provided by the hullers to finally market the rice of good quality.

The establishment of rice cooperatives has had a direct impact on rice farmers because now the profit generated by the sale of production benefits the cooperators. Farewell usury and ignorance thanks to the cooperatives and techniques transmitted by PNSADR-IM. Successful achievements, depending on the beneficiaries. They say they are already well prepared to sustain the achievements of the PNSADR-IM through the various training organized by the program.