The ETG Farmers Foundation (EFF) is a registered non-profit organization established in 2013, with the objective to formalize and build on ETG’s existing smallholder developmental work, as an independent entity. The foundation works in partnership with various entities, including international and national NGO partners and governments, in order to achieve its mission: To develop smallholder agricultural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa so that they can work towards a better future. EFF currently has successful projects operating in both Tanzania and Zimbabwe:
Since 2012, the Foundation has encouraged and supported farmers to grow cash crops such as oils seeds (sesame) and pulses (pigeon peas, green gram) and implemented farming programmes featuring: input finance, group management, basic business skills and agricultural practices training. Furthermore, EFF introduced an ICT platform featuring a range of functionalities including farmers profiling, SMS training, mobile money payments and database management systems. Currently 10,000 farmers and 250 students are enrolled in our projects.
New projects include the Kagera Coffee Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the introduction of improved sesame seed in the Mbeya region in partnership with AGRA, and the cultivation of cash crops such as pulses and sesame as sustainable alternatives to informal artisanal gold mining, supported by Shanta Mine in the Songwe region. In partnership with TODEP and implementing partner Zanzibar Sugar Factory, EFF has also executed an Ethanol School Project to create awareness on climate change, fight deforestation and enable access to clean cooking fuel. The project is in line with our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, to promote gender inclusiveness and renewable energy sources.
One of the key objectives was to introduce mechanization, increase the production of suitable high value crops, provide a direct market, and provide the necessary knowledge to achieve the above. Through our efforts, EFF has introduced and increased Sesame production from the Gokwe to Nyaki regions, by linking a large number of farmers to financial institutions in order to receive small input loans. The outreach program has expanded significantly to include up to 27,000 farmers intending to plant sesame this 2016/17 season.
The Foundation also provides its small-holder farmer partners in the Guruve community with access to mechanization on a pre-payment cash paid bases. Our Agri-depots offer tractor services for ploughing, planting and disking. Our first season enabled farmers to increase their soya and maize production and with the rainy season starting early this year, EFF’s tractor services have been high in demand reaching over 450 farmers since September.