THE FUTURE OF FARMING IN TANZANIA

The Kavli Trust has pledged to finance the start-up and development of a project in Iringa, Tanzania called Farm for the Future.

The farm will create work for the people in the area, be a driving force for the development of local agriculture, and give young, single mothers and local farmers a chance to become economically independent.

“This is a definite mark of approval and a major break-through in our work. Now, Farm for the Future will be realised, and that is such a large milestone for this impoverished area that I am still finding it hard to take in,” says project manager Osmund Ueland.

Cried with happiness

Osmund Ueland is known to many as an accomplished business leader, and he has roles on a number of boards and committees. He has been the project manager for Farm for the Future on a volunteer basis ever since 2015. He received the news about the Kavli Trust’s intention to support the project with great pleasure.

“My voice failed me, and I cried with happiness. I was thinking so many thoughts at once,” he says.

“I have this vision in my head of what this is going to look like, and I keep thinking about all the people who will benefit from this.”

Developing the region

Farm for the Future will be run as a separate company. The start-up of the project and the establishment of the organisation is managed through the Ilula Orphan Program (IOP), based in the Iringa area in central Tanzania.

Ilula Orphan Program is an orphanage founded 20 years ago by a Norwegian woman called Berit Skaare. In addition to the orphanage, IOP runs regional development programs based around education.

The premier league

In 2014, Berit Skaare managed to buy an abandoned tobacco farm of 618 acres at a low price. With the support from the Kavli Trust, this property will now be rebuilt into a commercial farm. The goal is that this farm will become a driving force in the development of the area.

“The Kavli Trust’s approval takes us into the premier league of future oriented humanitarian work,” says Osmund Ueland.

He believes the timing is perfect.

“Norway has a new minister for international development, who has begun focusing on food and food security, vocational training and employment. We’re working at the very heart of the Norwegian foreign aid commitment,” says Ueland.

Additional effects

“We’re very excited to support the establishment of Farm for the Future, and looking forward to following their work,” says CEO of the Kavli Trust, Inger Elise Iversen.

“The people behind Farm for the Future are working with the aim of realising the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. They are well-established in the local community, they have a large network, as well as dependable, competent collaborators both in Tanzania and here in Norway. The projects have the potential to create very positive change for individuals and the community, and is based largely on a lot of work from Norwegian and Tanzanian volunteers. The project also facilitates synergy benefits from the collaboration with the orphanage,” says Inger Elise Iversen.

Aid organisations collaborating

Several aid organisations are working together on this project. Osmund Ueland wants to work to inspire even more organisations to join in developing the farm and the community.

“‘We learn from each other’ and develop people, products and communities in ways that can be emulated, which helps development in other communities. We communicate what we do so that others can learn,” says Osmund Ueland.

Alexandre Macedo, manager for Yara in Tanzania, Geoffrey Kirenga, director of Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), and Lois Alfred

Perez, manager for Yara in Afrika. Alongside a number of other actors, they assembled at the orphanage to make a business plan for Farm for the Future.

Farm for the Future’s most important goals and strategies will be:

• Lasting, profitable growth
• The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
• Enabling young, single mothers to manage on their own and be economically independent
• Helping local farmers into the market
• Food and food security
• Vocational training and employment
• Helping children and youth gain an interest for, and more knowledge about, the importance of agriculture

How it will be run:

• Ilula Oprhan Program will own at least 50 percent of Farm for the Future.
• The farm will have an equal share of male and female employees.
• The farm will have a system for bonuses, where employees can get bonuses in the form of shares.
• Other owners will be investors, as well as small-scale farmers and single mothers; the latter two through the Norwegian Church Aid’s microfinancing group VICOBA.
• After animals are acquired, there will be about 20 permanent positions at the farm.
• In addition to that, the farm will hire seasonal workers, and the number of employees will increase corresponding to the increases in the processing of farm yields.
• Between 50 and 70 people will participate in a yearly teaching program at the farm.
• The plan is that 30 dairy cows will produce milk, and 50 cows/calves will produce meat.
• Space for 50 goats will be constructed, and the farm will grow feed for its own and other people’s animals. The farm will also grow vegetables to sell.

The commercial and teaching parts of the farm will be organised and run as separate units with separate budgets and accounting. This will enable the project to apply for humanitarian funding for the education program.

Picture at the top of the page: Farm for the Future is a large project, and several humanitarian organisations, volunteers, professionals and other actors contribute.