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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Toward export of small-holder organic products: the case of bananas and avocado from Kilimanjaro Tanzania

Benedict Mongula

University of Dar es Salaam, Institute of Development Studies, Tanzania


Organic farming of bananas and avocado is a traditional practice of small-holder/peasant farmers that continues to-date.Animal manure and mulching are the main ways of replenishing soil nutrients while both crop varieties are un-engineered traditional local type, not subjected to genetic modification. The two crops are grown all over Kilimanjaro Region and hundreds of tons are ferried daily to many towns and cities all over the country, including DareSalaam, Arusha, and to and Kenya. The crops are either collected from local markets or directly from the farms by local traders, but overall there is no organised crop collection, shipment nor any support to export them. Despite much rhetoric on Sustainable Development Goals, there is little initiative by the Government, Non-Governmental Organisations and Private Sector support institutions to organise the farmers, export financing and or organising crop collection. This would have helped the farmers and contribute to increased incomes and poverty reduction while at the same increasing export revenues and supply of agro-ecological farm products to the world market. The two crops could easily become the gold of the people of those areas. There are glaring gaps in this area, first policy gaps to promote greater farming, crop collection and marketing including export marketing.Secondly, support from local government administration to help ease constraints faced by small-holder farmers or peasants including crop-collection especially helping in creating cooperatives and/or producer organisations. There is the question of capacity and networks to help with exporting. The presentation will describe the crop varieties, explore the volume of production, market destinations and prices along the value chain,and the views of the farmers on the challenges and prospects of increased production and supply of the two crops. Lastly, it will present policies of agro-ecological farming and exports of organic farm products as well as initiatives to help to establish farmers cooperatives of those crops.Hard data shall be collected to provide evidence for the presentation. The hypotheses are if farmers were organised there is potential for exportation of bananas and avocado; and that government policy and technical support will alleviate the constraints inhibiting exports.

Keywords: Improved crop collection and export marketing, organic bananas and avocado, policy technical and institutional support , small-holder farming

Contact Address: Benedict Mongula, University of Dar es Salaam, Institute of Development Studies, P.O. Box 35169, Dar es salaam, Tanzania, e-mail: bmongula@gmail.com

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