Ninety-eight percent of those who embarked upon the training graduated at a ceremony which included song and dance, as well as on-farm demonstrations of what they learned such as nursery development and maintenance, land preparation, planting, tipping, pruning, plucking, decentering, pest and disease control, best practice in fertiliser use, prevention of soil erosion and flooding, and sustainable tea farming.
On behalf of the Government of Tanzania, the Guest of Honour was Honourable Ayub Mndeme, Regional Economic and Planning Officer, Njombe Region representing the Regional Commissioner. He emphasised the need for closer collaboration amongst all stakeholders in the tea industry to boost farmers’ productivity and incomes. He reiterated the importance of sustainable tea farming that takes account of the environment and enhances farmers’ livelihoods, noting that environmental conservation and management of climate change risks were key priorities for the Government of Tanzania for the Njombe region.
Farmer training is a core part of The Wood Foundation Africa’s venture philanthropy work. Since 2016, 93 Farmer Field Schools have been established training 2668 farmers of which 1476 are male and 1192 are female. Sensitisation is now underway for a new cohort.