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Enhancing Agricultural Sustainability: Belgian Delegation Visits MVIWAARUSHA Implementation Sites

H.E. Peter Huyghebaert, (second from left) Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Tanzania in a group photo with the IDP Director, Ayesiga Buberwa, MVIWAARUSHA programs Officer, Damian Sulumo and others from Regional Office and partners.
Damina Sulumo, MVIWAARUSHA programs shaking hand with H.E. Peter Huyghebaert, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Tanzania during his visit in Arusha
H.E. Peter Huyghebaert, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Tanzania testing the water pumping machine at the Mr Manase's farm

In a significant stride towards bolstering agricultural sustainability initiatives, MVIWAARUSHA, in collaboration with IDP (Island of Peace/ Iles de Paix) and RECODA (Research, Community and Development Association), recently welcomed a high-profile delegation from the Kingdom of Belgium. The visit, spearheaded by MVIWAARUSHA's dedicated program officer, Mr. Damian Sulumo, aimed to showcase the impactful strides in agricultural development and sustainability.

His Excellency, Peter Huyghebaert, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Tanzania, accompanied by Fanny Heylen, the Head of Cooperation at the Belgian Embassy in Tanzania, embarked on an insightful journey to various implementation sites in Arusha. The delegation's visit underscored Belgium's commitment to fostering sustainable agricultural practices and strengthening collaborative efforts with local partners in Tanzania.

The delegation was warmly received at the MVIWAARUSHA implementation sites, where they witnessed firsthand the innovative approaches being employed to enhance agricultural productivity while promoting environmental conservation. From sustainable farming techniques to regenerative organic practices, the visit provided a comprehensive overview of the diverse initiatives aimed at transforming the agricultural landscape in the region.

During their tour, the delegation engaged in fruitful discussions with local stakeholders, including farmers, community leaders, and project coordinators. These interactions facilitated the exchange of knowledge and experiences, highlighting the importance of synergistic partnerships in driving meaningful change within the agricultural sector.

One of the focal points of the visit was the collaborative efforts between MVIWAARUSHA, IDP, and RECODA in implementing sustainable agricultural projects. The delegation had the opportunity to witness the tangible impact of these initiatives on the livelihoods of farmers and the broader community. From improved crop yields to enhanced soil health, the positive outcomes showcased the effectiveness of holistic approaches to agricultural development.

As the visit concluded, Ambassador Huyghebaert admired the dedication and innovation demonstrated by the local partners in their pursuit of agricultural sustainability. He emphasised Belgium's continued support for such initiatives and reaffirmed the importance of international cooperation in addressing global challenges such as food security and climate change.

The visit of His Excellency, Peter Huyghebaert, and Fanny Heylen was a testament to the fruitful collaboration between Belgium and Tanzania in advancing sustainable agriculture. It reinforced the shared commitment to harnessing the power of innovation and partnership to build a more resilient and prosperous future for farming communities in Tanzania and beyond.

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Strengthening Bonds and Fostering Growth: A Recap of IIED’s Visit to Tanzania

Damian Sulumo the MVIWAARUSHA Programs Officer with the IIED officials and the Florian Gitu a farmer at Doffa village in Karatu
Richard Masandika MVIWAARUSHA coordinator displaying the farmers managed seed to the visitor at Rhotia Kainam in Karatu, during the partners visit
A group photo of the farmers, MVIWAARUSHA staff and the IIED officials during their visit to Our implementation areas
Eden group farmers with the IIED official

In a heartwarming display of international collaboration and environmental stewardship, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) recently embarked on a visit to Tanzania, marking a significant milestone in its partnership with local organizations. The visit centred around the joint project "Nurture the Nature," aimed at empowering local communities and promoting sustainable environmental practices.

One of the key highlights of the visit was the interaction with various local groups, including the Namelok Naishoi women's group in Esilalei village, Monduli district. This encounter provided a firsthand glimpse into the lives of these women, showcasing their resilience and determination to make a positive impact on their environment. The women shared their experiences and knowledge, demonstrating a deep connection to the land and a strong desire to protect it for future generations.

Another memorable visit was to the Eden Group in Dofa village, Karatu district, where the team witnessed, the impressive work being done to conserve biodiversity and promote eco-friendly practices. The group's dedication to sustainable farming and resource management was truly inspiring, serving as a shining example of community-led conservation efforts.

Apart from engaging with local communities, the IIED team also had the opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas with partners from the Philippines and Indonesia. This cultural exchange not only enriched the experience but also fostered a sense of global solidarity in tackling environmental challenges.

Overall, the visit of IIED and their partners was a testament to the power of collaboration and shared commitment to nurturing our planet. It served as a reminder that by working together, we can achieve remarkable progress in safeguarding our environment and building a more sustainable future for all.

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Empowering Agriculture: The Rise of Farmer-Owned Sunflower Oil Processing Machines

MVIWAARUSHA field officer Mr Godwin Sebastian taking the guests through the new founded sunflower oil processing machine at Losikito
Glory Miagie (MVIWAEKE local network member) - a sunflower farmer and a machine operator

In the heartlands of agricultural communities, a quiet revolution is taking place. Farmers, long the backbone of our societies, are stepping into a new realm of entrepreneurship by establishing farmer-owned sunflower oil processing machines. This innovative initiative transforms the way agricultural products are processed and empowers local farmers, fostering economic sustainability and community resilience.

The journey begins in the sun-kissed fields where farmers diligently cultivate sunflowers, tapping into nature's bountiful resources. Traditionally, these sunflower seeds would be sold to distant processing facilities, leaving farmers at the mercy of fluctuating market prices and distant middlemen. However, the landscape is evolving as farmers unite to reclaim control over their produce.

The concept of farmer-owned processing machines is simple yet profound. Instead of relying on external entities, farmers pool their resources to invest in a communal processing facility. This facility, equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, enables farmers to transform raw sunflower seeds into high-quality oil on-site. By eliminating intermediaries, farmers retain a larger share of the profits, bolstering their economic stability.

Thanks to MVIWAARUSHA under the FORI project and with the support of WEEFFECT, AGRICORD, ACP and TARI for making this vision realized for the farmers.

One of the primary benefits of farmer-owned processing machines is the empowerment of local communities. These machines serve as hubs of collaboration, bringing farmers together to share knowledge, resources, and experiences. Through collective ownership, farmers strengthen their bargaining power in the market, ensuring fair compensation for their labour. Moreover, the establishment of processing facilities creates employment opportunities within rural areas, stemming the tide of urban migration.

Furthermore, farmer-owned processing machines promote sustainability and environmental stewardship. By processing sunflower seeds locally, farmers reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation and processing. Additionally, these facilities can implement eco-friendly practices, such as utilizing renewable energy sources and minimizing waste generation. As custodians of the land, farmers recognize the importance of preserving natural resources for future generations.

The impact of farmer-owned processing machines extends beyond economic and environmental realms; it also fosters social cohesion and community development. As farmers collaborate on shared ventures, bonds of trust and solidarity are forged, strengthening the fabric of rural societies. Moreover, the establishment of processing facilities encourages knowledge exchange and skill development, empowering farmers with the tools to navigate an ever-changing agricultural landscape.

However, the journey towards farmer-owned processing machines is not without its challenges. Initial investments in machinery and infrastructure may require substantial capital, necessitating support from government agencies, NGOs, or financial institutions. Additionally, farmers must navigate regulatory frameworks and bureaucratic hurdles to ensure compliance with food safety standards and quality control measures.

Despite these obstacles, the momentum behind farmer-owned processing machines continues to grow, fueled by the collective determination of farmers to control their destinies. As more communities embrace this model, the ripple effects are felt far and wide, transforming not only agricultural practices but also societal perceptions of rural development.

In conclusion, the establishment of farmer-owned sunflower oil processing machines heralds a new era of empowerment and sustainability in agriculture. By reclaiming control over the production process, farmers secure their livelihoods, preserve the environment, and strengthen the social fabric of their communities. As we look towards the future, let us celebrate the ingenuity and resilience of farmers who are pioneering change from the ground up.

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The first farmers-owned sunflower processing machine, installed in Monduli district

The sunflower oil processing machine installed at the farmer's center in Monduli

As a result of FORI goodies, today we tested the newly installed sunflower processing machine for the first time in Monduli, a key component of the package aimed at enhancing the sunflower value chain and production in the area, with MVIWAARUSHA establishing farmers' centres in their implementation areas to involve various stakeholders, including the installation of the processing unit to attract more actors in the subsector, thanks to the invaluable support from our partners WeEffect and TARI, whose ongoing collaboration is crucial as we progress towards success.

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MVIWAARUSHA Programs officer extended a call to the internationals to observe 𝐀𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐢𝐨𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲

Damian Sulumo- The MVIWAARUSHA programs Officer, presenting the organization contribution on agrobiodiversity during 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐢𝐨𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 in Nepal
The programs officer (far right) in a panel for the discussion

MVIWAARUSHA is participating in the international conference on Agrobiodiversity Enriching Nature and Nutrition through agroecological knowledge, seed management, and climate-smart business and finance models “sharing best practices in nature-based solutions from forest and farm producer organisations” in Pokhara, Nepal, from 9-12 April 2024.

Once again, we find ourselves at the crux of the global narrative, articulating not only what we do but also how we do it. Our Programs Officer, Mr. Damian Sulumo, takes the stage at the International Conference on Agrobiodiversity: Enriching Nature and Nutrition through Agroecological Knowledge, Seed Management, and Climate-Smart Business and Finance Models.

Here, amidst the vibrant discussions in Pokhara, Nepal, from April 9th to 12th, 2024, we're poised to share best practices in nature-based solutions, drawing insights from forest and farm producer organisations.

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MVIWAARUSHA Participated in the We Effect Tanzania Partners Review meeting

Damian Sulumo - MVIWAARUSHA Programs Officer

On the 16 of April 2024, the Programs Officer, Mr. Damian Sulumo, showcased MVIWARAUSHA's activities supported by WeEffect at the We Effect Tanzania Partners Review meeting, held at Lush Garden Hotel in Arusha. Among these initiatives is FORI, a farmer-centered project for which we are deeply appreciative.

"We are thrilled to share updates from our We Effect Tanzania Partners Meeting! Today, we had the opportunity to present the latest developments in our FO-RI program and share promising preliminary results from our farmer-led research interventions.

A big thank you to all our partners for engaging in insightful discussions and contributing to our mission of sustainable agriculture! Together, we are demonstrating that sunflower production can thrive in an agro-ecological way, and our farmers-turned-researchers are confirming this with these exciting early results. Let's continue to grow together towards a brighter, more sustainable future! #WeEffect#Tanzania#SustainableAgriculture#FarmersLeadResearch🌍"

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𝕄𝕍𝕀𝕎𝔸𝔸ℝ𝕌𝕊ℍ𝔸 ℙ𝕒𝕣𝕥𝕚𝕔𝕚𝕡𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕚𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕣𝕖𝕘𝕚𝕠𝕟𝕒𝕝 𝕥𝕣𝕖𝕖 𝕡𝕝𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘

The Monduli distric commissioner, Hon.Festo Kiswaga adress the public during the regional tree planting at Emirete village in Monduli.
MVIWAARUSHA officers, Richard Masandika, coordinator (in the middle), Damian Sulumo Programs Officer (left) and Eliud Letungaa the field officer (Right)

MVIWAARUSHA today joined other partners and the government in planting trees at EMIRETE primary school in Emirate village, Monduli juu ward in Monduli district where the Arusha region was celebrating the trees planting day.

In an event attended by the political class, villagers, private entities and the government arm witnessed the planting of trees in a school area motivating the Maasai community to preserve and protect the environment.

Today's event was graced by the Monduli district commissioner Hon. Festo S. Kiswaga on behalf of the regional commissioner. The DC was accompanied by the director of the Monduli district council Mrs. Happiness Laizer, and other officials from the district and the ruling party.

The district commissioner also led the provision of trees to the villagers to plant at their respective homes and areas of operations as part of the motivation to the residents.

MVIWAARUSHA has been a key partner in the implementation of the environment conservation agenda which is the priority agenda of the government.  Thus, placing them at the core centre of the activities of environmental conservation in the region.

We are also grateful that the region saw it fit to award the certificate of appreciation and trophy of the best mobilizer in tree planting which was received by the Organization coordinator Mr. Richard Masandika.

The celebration was conducted regionally in the Monduli district this year.

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Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), Foreign, commonwealth and Development Office of the UK government visits MVIWAARUSHA

MVIWAARUSHA coordinator Mr.Richard Masandika giving the welcoming remarks to the guests
Forest and Farm Facility manager Mr. Luis Miguel
MVIWAARUSHA Programme officer Mr Damian James Sulumo

On the 19th of March 2024, MVIWAARUSHA received high-profile guests from FAO and Commonwealth. The guests comprised Forest and Farm Facility manager Mr Luis Miguel, Geofrey Bakanga FFF national facilitator (Tanzania), and Nickson Elly – FFF national assistant facilitator.

Either the side of the Commonwealth, the guests were Mr Ross Hilton, Africa Climate Programmes Lead Africa Directorate, Cormac Quinn- Monitoring Lead Africa Unit, Cynthia Nakanjako – Programme and Policy Manager Africa Programmes, and Thomas Bowe – Analyst, African MEL Unit.

 In a one-day visit to the field of operation to the activities supported by the FFF project.

The team opened their day in the office of MVIWAARUSHA where they were briefed on the ongoing activities and the achievements since the beginning of the project.

While in the office they also got the opportunity to ask and receive clarification on several activities from the MVIWAARUSHA leadership.

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MVIWAARUSHA hosts TRIAS executive officials in Arusha

In the cause of this week on the 13th of June 2023, MVIWAARUSHA hosted a delegation of the TRIAS bosses from across the world. TRIAS is a traditional partner with MVIWAARUSHA for almost a decade in which there are a lot of achievements to emulate. The TRIAS bosses praised the ground implementations by MVIWAARUSHA as expressed by the coordinator Mr. Richard Masandika who showed all the success and the synergies by TRIAS. Mr Masandika acknowledged the TRIAS support which has taken the organization this far. visiting Arusha DC and Monduli the officials saw the implementation in the areas of environmental conservation and beekeeping which members of MVIWAARUSHA are dealing with and are accorded with support to achieve the best. Speaking after the trip the general director of TRIAS Mr Lode Delbare said they have enjoyed seeing the growth of the people in the areas which they desire to experience more.

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