Integrated farming system bears fruit in northern Tanzania
This is a new business in the region because poultry, fish and vegetables depend on each other (in terms of ecology).
In the past, Mwita was an ordinary man because he raised chickens using traditional methods, which are unproductive. But, now, things are different after becoming familiar with modern methods of animal husbandry and agriculture, which assures him good income compared to the past.
Fish and poultry production is now down to two-thirds of what it was before. The more the eye focuses on the fish-garden partnership, the more lucrative it is as production has increased by 300%.
Her annual income is about double what she used to be. From the Mwita company, has two modern houses (by village standards).
Mwita’s journey began in 2004, but the biggest breakthrough came in 2007 after he found a self-sufficient class and evoked positive responses that failed to change his personal lifestyle.
This happened after he received special training from the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI), which even allowed him to rapidly expand his business in 2004 when he was pulled out of traditional activities. With a fish pond of 30 square meters (five by six meters) and in one year it expanded to 120 square meters (10 by 12 meters), four times the original.
A father of six and husband of two said he kept moving forward and in 2005 expanded further to a 380 square meter (19 by 20 meter) pond. The move to enlarge the pond, he did it in a slightly different style to add two additional new ponds, each larger than the previous one.
He describes the condition of the ponds as one being 400 square meters (20 by 20 meters) and the other 450 square meters (15 by 30 meters), which in general created a new interpretation of his success in entrepreneurship, with a new design. and production system.
Mwita adds: “What happens here is that you have a fish pond, in addition you build a chicken coop and at the edge of the pond you have a garden.
“When I started crossbreeding in 2004, some neighbors thought I was crazy, but after the success they became one of the many people who come here to learn and even buy chickens, fish, vegetables and bananas.
“I received visitors coming to study from Tabora, Arusha, Shinyanga, Dar es Salaam, Pwani, Mbeya and even Uganda areas, and I was invited to many places to impart this education.”
He added: “In short, it is very cheap agriculture. I feed the chickens, the chickens feed the fish! This fertile water is used to irrigate the garden, vegetable crops also become food for chickens and fish. Its customers come from the city of Tarime and as far as Musoma and the whole lake area.
In the philosophy of every success there are its complexities, which also appear in the production, which Mwita describes: “The current obstacle in this project is access to seeds. »
“The fingerlings are found in Arusha, Kenya and Uganda. Also when there is a drought, the birds come to look for food, land in a pond and collect fish.
Mwita also cites frogs and snakes as another challenge facing his business, noting that there are different ways to complete the amphibian challenge, such as planting certain glasses at the edge of the pond and raising small ducks in the pond. pond.
The Standard Seven school leaver said he started with 15,000/- as start-up capital in 2004 and now he can get around 6 million/- per year, which is twice the previous one.
“Birds eat a lot of nutrients, but naturally their bodies are not able to absorb all the nutrients, so when they fall out of the pond, they are very helpful for the growth of fish,” Dr. Amon Shoko, TAFIRI researcher.
According to a research report conducted by TAFIRI under the auspices of the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), the agroforestry system adds an additional two-thirds of what the farmer earns through regular pastoralism; an average of 66 percent in fish and poultry joint ventures, with vegetable garden earning a further 67 percent.
TAFIRI who started with six pastors including Mwita now boasts of their class success citing him as an ambassador in the Lake Zone region.
“We are very proud of Mwita’s success, when we visited him in 2004 it was as if he had a fish pond, it was not a fish pond (five by six meters). He is doing well now in the Lake District and nationally as a whole.
“At agricultural fairs in Kenya and Uganda, our donors were delighted with the efforts he put into his farm,” he said.
The expert says that TAFIRI distributes innovations to small groups in other parts of the country, having already reached Mara, Songwe, Iringa and Morogoro regions.
He suggested, “For the future, poultry, fish and gardening education should be extended to more farmers, herders and small-scale fishers in the country.”
Livestock and Fisheries Minister Mashimba Ndaki also noted that freshwater fishing accounts for 95% of all catches in the country.
According to Ndaki, there are more than 30,000 small fish producers, while 195,435 fishermen in the Indian Ocean and freshwater lakes. Simply put, the Tarime-based Mwita Group represents 13% of all fishermen nationally.
The minister clarified that small fish producers contribute 30% of the total animal protein feed in the country and that the economic fishing industry in 2020 contributed 1.71% to the GDP, a level similar to that of the previous year (2019).
According to the Minister, the growth rate of the fishing industry in 2020 was at a high rate of 6.7% compared to the previous year (2019) from an average of 1.5%, i.e. a increase of 5.2% in one year.