Increase short term income for farmers
Pilot project on green bean farming
Most families in Ayalagaya and Arri are subsistence farmers growing food and raising livestock for family consumption and selling leftovers, if any. A key Karimu goal is to be able to increase their income, particularly in the area of agriculture and livestock, that uses and improves on skills and resources they already have. Karimu hired a consultant in 2022 to assess the best agricultural opportunities for the local community and cultivation of french green beans for export topped the list. Several farmers have had experience with the crop, but market access was a challenge.
Greens beans provide a fast return on investment given the short cycle-to-harvest time (60 days). They can be cultivated year round where water needs can be reliably provided and on small plots of land, and still yield economic benefits of up to TSh 1,786,000 per acre. The initial investment required is low for new farmers, particularly as the buyer can advance the seeds and farmers can organize in groups to obtain fertilizer, pesticides, agronomy, and Global Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification training (required for project scaling for export to Europe) at affordable prices. The resulting profits are estimated at more than 17 times the average monthly wage in the area.
We have identified a partner, Home Fresh Tanzania Limited, with whom we will pilot 2 harvests with 25 farmers of ¼ acre each. Home Fresh will provide education and support in growing, harvesting, post-harvest handling, pick-up from central collection points, and delivery to direct markets. While Home Fresh will provide financing for the seeds, the farmers must provide the upfront investment and labor associated with soil preparation, weeding, harvesting, and packaging for transport.
July 2022 Update: We planted the first crop June 29 and 30. Twenty farmers were able to have the fertilizer on hand for the planting so only 20 are participating in the pilot. Of those 45% are women. The agronomist was onsite to demonstrate how to plant and care for the crops according to their schedule. Each farmer was given 3 kg of seeds.
Our success criteria for the pilot are as follows:
At least 80% of enrolled farmers harvest their crop
Harvesting farmers meet the target profit margin of TSh 446,500 per ¼ acre
90% of harvesting farmers are satisfied with the pilot and want to continue
Green beans produced by farmers meet quality, freshness and productivity targets provided by Home Fresh
Rejects must be below 10% of the total harvested green beans
Home Fresh demonstrates reliability and transparency as a partner
Improved income for farmers
Diversification of crops
Karimu cost: $1,490.92
Farmer cost: Seed, fertilizer, pesticide, labor