June 2019 marks the launching of a new project in partnership with Farm Africa called “Flourishing Feature: Sunflower Project”, which takes place in the Babati, Hanang and Kiteto districts. The main objective of this 2-year project is to generate permanent employment for farmers, more particularly young and women farmers, and, in turn, to improve their socio-economic situation. Why young and women farmers? First, youth in general have difficulty finding employment as there is a lack of work opportunities for them. As for women, they are overrepresented in the agricultural sector, which doesn’t stop them for being unpaid for their work most of the time – a work largely unrecognized with very limited resources. Altogether, creating job opportunities is a way of empowering economically both young and women farmers in their communities. In order to achieve this, the strategy is to improve the sunflower value chain by building the capacity of farmer organization leaders and wards or villages extension officers on the following matters:
- How to recruit more youth and women in the farmer organization and why it’s important;
- How to improve agricultural practices;
- How to access sunflower seeds providers and potential buyers.
Why sunflowers? Because sunflower’s by-products are used almost everywhere and by everyone in Tanzania, whether it’s to cook or to feed livestock. However, many farmers still struggle to properly harvest sunflowers and to find a market for it. Proper harvesting methods and knowledge about the existing markets will not only help build the capacity of thousands of farmers in the Manyara region, but also increase their income.