UK aid in Tanzania: The power of learning by doing

Anna Latasaruaki grows more crops on her farm thanks to Climate Smart Agriculture training from CARE

“I witnessed my three acres of onion and two acres of maize swept away by flood waters.”

Anna Latasaruaki from Ruvu-jiungeni village in the Same district of Tanzania was one of many small-scale farmers affected by floods last year. Anna, a mother of six children, relies on income from selling her crops for her livelihood.

So to watch the source of her expected income from that growing season to be swept away in front of her eyes was devastating.

It cost me a total of 2,584,000 Tanzanian shillings (nearly £1,000) for land preparation and purchase of other agricultural inputs. I had no means to protect my farms from flood damage. Honestly I lost hope in crop production.

But now FFBS has revived my dreams and hope for crop production.

Anna was approached by CARE’s Help Her Live Learn and Earn project and invited to join the Farmers’ Field Business School (FFBS) – a key part of CARE’s UK aid match funded project.

The two-year project is supporting small-scale farmers and their families by giving them the training they need to improve their farming in the face of climate change and to increase their income from their crops.

Climate Smart Agriculture

At the FFBS, Anna is learning Climate Smart Agriculture practices and techniques – farming approaches which will enable her to increase productivity and cope with the negative impacts of climate change, such as unpredictable rains, droughts and floods.

In this growing season she has used improved seeds, implemented new approaches including land layout, planting following recommended spacing, application of fertilisers and insecticides. The FFBS has also helped her to learn improved farm management skills and how to monitor and evaluate the progress of her crops.

Higher yields means more income

She is expecting high yields this year and even higher ones in future. With the increase of yields, she is expecting to purchase 20 cattle, buy clothes for her children, and renovate their house from a traditional Maasai house (hut) to a modern house.

She is also keen to pass on her new skills and knowledge to other farmers in the area. She says:

I feel empowered. The project has really changed my perspectives, making me a better decision-maker for my family and other farmers. Before joining FFBS, I could neither collaborate with other farmers in finding solutions nor make better decisions with other people; I was so concerned with my personal issues. Now I have more self-confidence – and mostly, my husband believes in my capabilities!

Written by Sarah Ngoy from CARE local partner organisation FORUM CC, one of our partners in the Help Her Live Learn and Earn project.

This two-year project in Tanzania is funded by the UK government through UK aid match, where donations by the UK public to CARE’s Help Her Live, Learn and Earn campaign were doubled by the UK government, with the matched funds going towards the project in Tanzania.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.