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SMEs digest: New record as youth farmers await 146 tonnes of ginger

Two groups of youths involved in spice farming in Morogoro Region will this season harvest some 146 tonnes of ginger, one of the popular spices on the dining tables.

That is more than five times of the tonnage produced by Tugende and Twiyuda farmers’ groups when they commenced cultivation.

“For 2021 a total of 146 tonnes of ginger will be harvested by the two groups,” said Mr Joel Paul, the Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) project leader in Morogoro Rural District.

He said cultivation of ginger and other spices was being implemented under the organic agriculture programme now being promoted throughout the country.

A total of 368 youths in Mkuyuni ward on the slopes of Mt Uluguru were cultivating different types of spices, including ginger.

He added that spices produced through organic methods – without the use of industrial chemicals – had a reliable market because of their health benefits.

One of the buyers is SAT, a ten year old local organization which deals with sustainable agriculture in the country.

SAT’s foundation was established on the farmers’ needs. It’s projects are implemented in collaboration with universities, companies and government extension services.

It works with the small holder farmers face-to-face to facilitate exchange to agro-ecological methods and application of research to improve livelihoods.

Since 2011, the organization has brought over 2,000 small scale farmers into the agro-ecological farming movement.

SAT has supported a total of 72 farmers’ groups from 52 villages across the country using participatory farmer demonstration farms.

Mr Paul said there were more female youths than male in the farmer groups that they supported, attributing it to deliberate effort to assist them.

SAT executive director Janet Maro said a study carried out in Morogoro and Dodoma indicated the two regions were notorious for early marriages of girls.

She said young women roped in the programme were initially trained on farming and entrepreneurship under Skills for Employment Tanzania (SET).

Youth-in-Agriculture programme coordinator under Agriculture docket Revellian Ngaiza urged the youth to embrace the right agricultural technologies to increase yields and hence improve their livelihoods.

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