Contract Farming in the Village and Starting a Producer Cooperative

Due to extensive rains and related damage in the fields, we’re running about a month behind schedule, compared to last year.  We have our new farmers signed up and although the aggregate is not so huge, about half-a dozen farmers, there is interest in starting a Producers’ Cooperative.  This will both simplify linkages between farmers and the Hotel, and will also make it possible to apply to local donors for small grants to assist in the cooperative setup and training.

One of the new farmers who has signed up with the project.

All of the seeds that were started are doing well, including radish, Kenya spinach, amaranth,sukuma wiki (collards), tomatoes, and a few others.

Some of the plots that have been planted, amaranth always grows fastest.

There are four hand-dug wells by which crops are watered every evening.  Since the water table is quite shallow here, there is also excellent water uptake by the roots.  Of course, during the heavy rainy season, the area is transformed into rice for several months.

A few weeks ago I was surprised and delighted to find a Goliath Crane in one of the gardens! He was just standing and watching (something). There are not so many of this breed in our area.

Radish beds now are producing quite nicely.
An organic spray, made in the kitchen is being used to discourage bugs.  It is cheap, and works well – but requires frequent application.  Recipe for this spray is contained in this blog: A great organic product for the Contract Farming Project – Red Pepper and Garlic Spray

We are beginning to integrate amaranth into companion (mixed) planting schemes.  This is an excellent way to confuse insects and thus enhance organic planting and farming methods.  However, it is a new strategy in the village that not all farmers are prepared to ‘risk’, and so we’re doing some demonstration plots.  See also:  Mixed Cropping: A Successful Organic Strategy

One of the hand-dug wells, from which water is taken by the bucket for watering.

We'll be getting some nyumbo (indigenous potatoes) later this month to plant out. They're most delicious!

For more about other landraces and indigenous plants, see the following:

Livingstone’s Colonial Potatoes in the 21st Century

INUMPU – Burundi’s Indigenous Potatoes & A Recipe

Wild Coffee and other Indigenous Species in Central Africa

And, look here:

Indigenous crops and medicinal plants

We have a variety of other seeds, which will go into the plots over the next several months.

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-Central, Agriculture, Contract-Farming, Food, Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika2, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Living here. Bookmark the permalink.

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