Tanzania, United Republic of
SAT Innovation Platform
About the Implementing organization
Name: Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT)
Country: Tanzania, United Republic of
Year of establishment: 2011
Type of organization: Legally recognized non-profit status
SAT works with a Core-Farmer-Network in Morogoro, Tanzania which is more than 2000-member strong and still growing. This network builds the foundation of SAT’s Innovation Platform. Through using an approach which acknowledges the experience and knowledge of farmers, SAT does not only give inputs but receives as well information. This gained agroecological knowledge is incubated and refined. The SAT Farmer Training Centre and the Farmer Magazine are later the vehicles to further disseminate the agroecological methods in Tanzania and even outside the country. Through this approach all the experience gained through projects can be made accessible for public and private stakeholders. To increase the knowledge production SAT collaborates with universities to link young researchers with the farming communities. SAT’s work within the Core-Farmer-Network is based on a holistic approach. Different modules are facilitated which cover agroecology in all its facets. Farmers receive in the villages facilitation on agriculture, life skills, saving and lending, entrepreneurship and are even accompanied through organic certification by using a Participatory Guarantee System. SAT follows a social-entrepreneur philosophy. It provides high-quality products which are unique, disseminates them through appropriate marketing and uses a strong financial planning and control. The 2013 launched Farmer Training Centre achieved in 2016 already almost financial self-sufficiency with 94%.
Forests / Mountains / Rivers / Drylands
Type of Action
Restoration / Sustainable use / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Health / Climate action
With agroecological practices, farmers can revive and once again use land which had been depleted through overuse of chemicals, soil degradation or erosion. 64% of farmers reported that they could reuse land. Sustainable soil management leads to erosion control and reduces water consumption for agricultural purposes. In total, 91% were using erosion control measures after completing SAT training, while the consumption of water was reduced by 59%. Farm biodiversity is protected and enhanced through maximizing use of locally-available resources. By avoiding the use of chemicals, watersheds are protected and the exposure to environmental toxins is reduced to almost zero. Through agroforest practices, farmers are planting trees, reducing dependence on adjacent forestlands that are under harvest pressure. In addition, farmers adopting organic farming methods no longer depend on slash and burn practices. A research in 2014 has shown a reduction in burning by 95% of SAT facilitated farmers
Sustainable Development Impacts
SAT provides knowledge which empowers farmers to help themselves with environmentally friendly and low-input required techniques. This leads to increased yield (experienced by 66%), lower input costs (experienced by 61%), and hence to higher income (~38% increase). With reducing their poverty small scale farmers can invest, in line with their needs, in education for their children, proper housing or in small scale business besides the sometimes-restricted agricultural activities. Through following agroecological principles resources are not at risk to become overused and already exhausted land can be revived again. SAT strengthens the capacity of farmer groups so that they can efficiently steer their own community development. Working as a group builds solidarity and social cohesion. Through making use of and combining social resources, problems can be overcome, like for instance the challenge of having no access to financial institutions, through forming saving and lending groups.
Agroecological experts are still rare in Tanzania. Organic agriculture and other relevant topics are only rudimentarily taught at tertiary education level. Nevertheless, it is a highly-demanded area: On one hand is the government and NGO sector interested in conserving nature and in protecting catchment areas and on the other hand is the private sector interested in exploring the fast-growing organic market. SAT’s strategy of offering courses at the Farmer Training Centre has a strong scalability which is demonstrated through several organisations and companies who are already using this facility to complement their programs. The Farmer Magazine reaches already 45.000 farmers monthly which can be easily increased.
Through building strategic partnership with government ministries (already with Ministry of Water) and intergovernmental organisations (already with UNDP - 10YFP), SAT opens new channels to disseminate its accumulated knowledge to further beneficiaries.
SAT’s innovative approaches are replicable and already demanded. The organisation has expanded its facilitation services to 2 further regions due to requests from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and other organisations. The F2F approach is hereby on of the most demanded products. Since 2014 SAT has hosted every year organisations who want to learn from its approaches and experiences (e.g. Agroecological Focal Point Swissaid – 5 days at SAT with project managers from 8 countries from 4 continents). This year the organisation is invited to Ethiopia to consult a project team for implementing an agricultural dissemination project by using the SAT concept. SAT plans to replicate and scale its activities in Ruanda by 2020. The networking with potential partners and institutions has already started.
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