Kigaze B farmer group in Kigaze Village in the region of Kagera has been working with the ERI approach since 2013 under the Kolping Society of Tanzania. The group, which is made up of 20 female and 12 male members, is one of the seven groups that collectively sell Banana- and Rosella Wine. The group has benefited through this business as the chairperson and farmer facilitator Alfredina Kashaija testifies:
“The wine is a product of banana and rosella we cultivate in individual fields. After being trained by ERI facilitators on best agronomic practices, especially on how to improve banana fields, we incorporated these practices in our objectives of improving our banana and rosella fields. Through these practices, every individual member is required to make and apply compost manure, to use market demanded and clean planting materials, to plant according to spacing standards, to trap harmful pests by using traditional methods, to mulch, prune and trench whenever necessary. After using these procedures, the M&E committee follows up to ensure every member is abiding to procedures as we agreed upon. After one year, the status of our banana fields changed, harvests doubled, and the quality was improved. Previously we were producing a banana bunch weighing 25kg but now our banana bunches weigh between 60kg and 80kg. We harvested our produce for consumption and sold the surplus to increase our household incomes.
To make the most of our harvest, we asked for training on value addition of banana, and received training on wine processing from the ERI facilitators. In the beginning, we produced 40 l per week but when the demand increased, we also increased our production to 100 l per week. As a result of this project, most of us have achieved their short and long term objectives, e.g. construction of improved and durable houses, animal husbandry for manure to make compost, being able to admit our children to better schools and meeting medical needs of our family members”.