NCA supports small agricultural producers in Tanzania to increase their economic empowerment, productivity and profits through various interventions in Hai, Moshi, Arumeru, Babati, Bagamoyo and Kilosa districts. Reflecting its 2016–2020 country strategy, NCA has implemented smallholder empowerment (SHE) projects concentrating on vegetable, fruit and poultry production. This model has included micro and next level investments to introduce drip irrigation and other innovations. NCA has also established inter-religious village community banks (IR VICOBA) to supply investment capital.
In 2019, NCA commissioned The Open University of Tanzania Consultancy Bureau to assess the effectiveness, relevance and impact of NCA’s SHE projects in Tanzania. This included analysing the costs, payback period and rate of return for each investment type (vegetables, fruit or poultry). The assessment aimed to identify best practices and beneficial or problematic design criteria and delivery models. Research involved a desk review, project observations, and key informant interviews and focus group discussions among vegetable and poultry farmers.
Key findings and recommendations:
Vegetable production has variable costs, depending on the number of vegetable beds and their required maintenance time.
Tomatoes generated high profit margins in their first season, except in one area.
NCA should facilitate the availability of irrigation water in drought-affected areas.
The project should help the poorest people to escape poverty by offering initial, short-term capital loans through IR VICOBA. NCA should encourage more men and youths to join VICOBA to promote their access to capital.
NCA should educate farmers on the importance of health insurance as only 20% of the sample had cover.
Establishing vegetable, fruit and poultry clusters could enhance the year-round supply of goods.
NCA should promote effective collaboration between partners and government officials and provide specific tools that agripreneurs lack.