Babati District is one of the six districts that form the Manyara Region. The District is 170 km south of Arusha town. The total population of the District is nearly 300,000 inhabitants of which 90% depends on agriculture as their main source of income. Babati is characterized by rich soils that are mostly volcanic, sandy loam and alluvial clay. Babati’s average per capital income of 2,571 TSH ($1.12 USD) per day is not good reflection of the excellent topographical and climatic conditions favorable for the creation of wealth.
Poor Farming Methods
Farmers suffer from income poverty due to low and poor quality of products caused by use of poor agricultural methods, severe soil erosion, limited tools and inefficient extension system. Only 55% of arable land is being cultivated and only 18% of irrigable land is under irrigation. Due to these reasons only 50% of the population in Babati has income which is sufficient to obtain enough food to meet subsistence standards.
Some areas have registered a considerable degree of chronic malnutrition and stunted growth in children under five. Women are poorer than men because of lack of asset ownership (including land and livestock) and limited schooling.
The aforementioned scenario was calling for an organization that would bring together various stakeholders who would synergy and chart out the way to rescue the people caught in the grinding poverty. ln the first ten years of operation FIDE learned a lot about the root causes of poverty in Babati thus making it easy to build partnerships with different stakeholders and mobilizing resources.