Tanzanian Farming Businesses

Industry: PRIMARY PRODUCTION, GRAINS AND SOYA

Location: Southern Corridor, Tanzania

Farms: NDOLELA, IFUNDA AND MAKETE

Overview

These businesses comprises three irrigated row cropping farms located in the “Southern Corridor” area of Tanzania. They are focused on the production of malting barley in the winter and soya beans and seed maize in the summer. The area under irrigation is being expanded significantly from ~200 Ha at purchase to 2,300 Ha. An irrigated area of this size is unusual in Tanzania with perhaps only two or three other grain farms of comparable size. There has been significant investment into infrastructure such as silo storage, canals, pivot irrigation and hydro-electric power.

The farms "double crop", growing two crops a year with irrigation and produce soya beans and a range of seed-crops in the summer and, barley, wheat and canola in the winter. Seed-crops include seed maize, seed beans and seed-potatoes. The collective farming business is thought to be the largest seed producer in Tanzania Within Tanzania there are very few commercial farms, particularly with significant irrigation, so these farms represent a relatively scarce opportunity in this prime grain growing zone.

Social impact

The installation of a substantial silo complex is helping to create a local market for maize and other crops allowing the local small scale farmers to get a better price for their crops. Previously they only received a very low price due to the remoteness of the location and the lack of storage.

The farms are thought to be the largest growers of improved hybrid seed maize, seed potatoes and seed beans in Tanzania. These seeds will typically be more resistant to disease, produce higher yields and be more drought tolerant. By switching to better seed, small-holder farmer’s yields can improve substantially, especially when implemented with conservation farming techniques.

Encouraging local farmers to rotate traditionally grown maize with soya beans, which is a higher value crop, also results in substantial benefits for the local farmers.

Employment opportunities, together with the support of local schools, means that these businesses provide an important boost for local communities.