“Improving the awareness, knowledge and skills of the local farmers on organic horticulture, aquaculture and business issues in relation to the productive use of SMARTechs”
Small scale demo plot
The demo plot aims to prove that with SMARTechs and a proper management and planning, life standards of farmers can improve, with and without a greenhouse.
The demo plot is divided into two parts: an open field and a greenhouse.
The greenhouse has around 1000 organic tomato seedlings and two fish ponds with 8000L each, with capacity for at least 300 catfish and 80 sato fish.
The water supply and irrigation system is a great example of the productive and efficient use of SMARTechs: water is supplied from a dug well to two raised tanks of 5m3 each and then to the greenhouse and the open field. The dug well is only 12m deep, the submersible pump has the capacity to fill 5m3 for one pumping and it can recover in just 30min. An efficient drip irrigation system is used in both the greenhouse and the open field.
A variety of crops grow organically on the open field: cabbage, kale, green peppers, cauliflower and pumpkin.
Check how beautifully they grow!
The SKAT funded training takes place once a year. In 2020 more than 30 farmers were trained in horticulture and aquaculture.
Participants were introduced to the basics of agriculture production and productivity. This covered the general challenges hindering quantity and quality production as the main requirement for Agribusiness engagement. The participants were then exposed to the Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) as the key solution to entering into agribusiness, where production and market calendar, basic field management practices such as field preparation, proper weeding, nutritional and pest management are a necessity. Various locally made and imported environmentally friendly technologies and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques to address Organic agriculture production challenges and market requirements were taught as well.
In the aquaculture training the participants had a chance to cover different topics like:
- what to consider before implementing a fish culture project
- how to determine a suitable area for fish farming
- how to produce seed (fingerlings)
- how to produce monosex tilapia seeds
- how to manage hatchery and fish seeds
- types of ponds and design
- criteria to consider for pond construction
- pond management
- ingredients for fish feed production
- how to manufacture fish feeds
- how to feed fish
- what are fish diseases and how they affect fish
- how to control and cure fish diseases.
The training did also include a basic business capacitation, where participants learnt how to find market in Tanzania and abroad, while they developed both the business and action plans for their future.