What we do
We collaborate with local communities to alleviate extreme poverty !
We empowering women and youth, Improving crop production and livestock systems, promoting renewable energy, protecting and distributing village water supplies, supporting environmental conservation
Maize and beans production
FIDE introduced appropriate agricultural techniques (terraces, agro-foresty, modern farming, soil conservation, pesticides, conservation agriculture and organic manure) and certified seeds, which
increased significantly the agricultural production of small scale farmers in Gallapo, Qash, Nangara and Bonga wards. With the assistance of FIDE, maize
productivity per acre increased from 7 bags (2003) to 16 bags (2007) and beans from 3 bags to 7 bags in the same period.
Access to certified seeds
In 8 villages FIDE established a Seed Credit Fund. Each planting season farmers have an opportunity to access a loan in order to purchase certified seeds. They repay the loan (with interest) after the harvest
and sale of their produce.
FIDE facilitated the establishment of demonstration plots (on average one acre) of maize and beans in eight villages. The communities selected one farmer to provide 1 acre of his or her land and to take care
of the demonstration plot. FIDE provided certified seed and the farmer was allowed to possess half of the harvest, while the remaining went into the Farmers’ SACCOS.
In collaboration with a District specialist on crop storage, FIDE facilitated the renovation of the Gedemar warehouse, where farmers stores’ their farm produce. This would help frmers to attain better prices
since the prices for crops are relatively low immediately after harvesting and better prices can be attained after half a year. FIDE provided support on the fumigation of
the warehouse for the first three years and from there farmers have taken over. Farmers are charged a small fee for storing their crops in the warehouse, which should cover costs of fumigation and security. FIDE
has also propagated the use of local improved cribs for grain storage, which was done in collaboration with District crop protection specialists.
FIDE promoted the use of zero-grazing of dairy cows through the introduction of pure breed dairy cattle.
Through on-farm trainings farmers acquired skills to build suitable cow sheds, establish a farm pasture and practice good husbandry practices. Some farmers decreased the number of their indigenous cattle and
purchased dairy heifers.
Not only did the FIDE support focused on dairy cattle, but also on indigenous cattle through the veterinary services provided by FIDE trained community based animal health workers. FIDE also introduced
crossbreed Zebu (indigenous cattle) oxen for ploughing which enabled farmers to increase the area under cultivation.
Introduction of Dairy cows
There are different breeds of diary cows suitable for Tanzanian conditions and FIDE promoted the Friesian and Arshire breeds since it is an efficient converter of feeds to milk. Friesians are also high milk producers,
who can produce up to 24 litres per day in Tanzanian conditions.
FIDE used a system whereby a farmer is loaned a cow and later repays two female calves which are loaned to other farmers on similar conditions. The credit in kind system enabled the economic active poor to acquire breeding cattle on very favourable
terms, and this accounted for the widespread interest and participation in the project. By July 2007, 41 calves from the original 70 dairy heifers introduced by
the project in 2004 had been distributed to Galapo and Qash wards. In other villages (Nangara and Managhat) the animals multiplied to 450 from the original 26 supplied in 1996. After repayment of
the first two calves, further offspring serves as an additional source of income at household level.
The service of artificial insermination technology and use of grade bulls is made available to small scale farmers. FIDE collaborated with the National Artificial
Insermination Centre (NAIC) at Usa-River to train ten farmers who now provide this service to other farmers on commercial basis. These trained farmers were also
provided with basic equipments for practising artificial insermination. In addition FIDE supplied grade bulls to
farmers in Bonga area.
Marketing of Milk
Such great efforts invested in the livestock sector resulted in substantial increase in dairy products. Recent survey shows that the villagers supported by FIDE in improving livestock keeping systems produce an
average of 1,000 litres of milk per day. With improved pasture and breed, milk production is expected to double within a short time. In view of this, FIDE is making a market survey of milk and milk products in
Babati town and other important centers like Gallapo, Magugu, Dareda and Makuyuni. In collaboration with SNV, meetings have been conducted
involving middlemen (buyers of milk) and
the farmers to chart out important product
market production mix in milk business.
Issues like collecting centre, milk handling,
quality control and price trends were
throughly discussed. In order to add value
to milk, farmers have been trained on how
to make various pruducts such as
yoghurt, butter and cheese.
Promotion of Biogas Technology
The use of biogas from manure
for cooking and lighting is a new
technology in Babati. The aim
of the project is to assist those
villagers who practice zero-
grazing (keeping livestock indoors)
and to encourage adaptation of
this suitable technology. In
1997, FIDE supported the
construction of 10 ‘fixed dome’ type
of biogas plants in Babati area, mainly in Nangara village. These are family level plants with a capacity of 16 m3.
During the construction work, families participated in all manual activities including preparation of burnt bricks and stone aggregates. This project was very
fascinating to the people and initiated great interest among UMUKO members – a women group in Nangara village.
After constructing biogas units, more farmers’ women requested assistance in building plants at their places. In order to accommodate new demands after completion of the project, FIDE had to plan for a strategy to disseminate this technology. Although a Biogas Fund was established many farmers have been unable to afford this new technology due to high
FIDE has tried to reduce the construction costs by training local artisans how to construct a biogas plant. A group of 4 qualified artisans and a new pilot project with a revolving biogas fund was established in Halla village, where there are about 40 interested farmers. By the beginning of 2008 fourteen units were
constructed in Halla. Under this project each family is required to contribute 300,000 Tshs to the biogas fund in the village for project continuation.
The introduction of biogas technology is part of FIDE’s approach to interlink different agricultural improvements. For example, planting elephant grass on contour banks prevents soil erosion but also guarantees food for indoor kept animals, which
additionally assures biogas for cooking and lighting purposes. By using biogas instead of firewood once again facilitates environmental conservation. Such chain of activities also stimulates motivation to initiate new projects as well as to maintain the already started ones. There is scope to extend biogas technology further in the district and other areas.
This contribution is on top of the local materials which a household has to mobilize for the project. To further
reduce the costs FIDE is promoting a much smaller design of the fixed dome plant/type of 12m3. This size of plant produces enough gas for a 10 people family.
When biogas is along side with the efficient wood stove which FIDE has promoted widely, enviromental conservation is maintained in the farmers daily life.
With the current prices of building materials in the country, it is estimated that Tshs. 800,000/= is sufficient to install a family level biaogas plant however half of this costs (eg stone aggregates, burnt
bricks, sand, stones, pit excavation) can be met by the villagers themselves.
Walter supply support
Water projects are not a core business, but over the years FIDE has supported water supply projects in areas where water is an acute problem. It often hinders development of other key development interventions in the community. Projects supported included the construction of intakes, tanks and pipelines in Endanoga, Managhat, Halla and Nangara villages.
In all these projects special consideration was given in conservation of water sources as a major objective behind.
A typical water project:
In Endanoga village FIDE supervised the construction of a 6.6 km pipeline network distributing water to 96 families. The network has 26 domestic points of which 7 are communal and 19 are private (installed
by individual families on their yards). Approximately 85% of the targeted group in the village has access to water in a distance less than 1.5 km. Before the project, most of the villagers got water from a distance
up to 4 km from their homesteads.
Life in Endanoga village has changed greatly after
the project. Women have more time to attend other matters, now that they do not have to travel far for their water needs. Families have opened kitchen gardens in
which they can grow vegetables such as spinach, salad and tomatoes. Surplus of these vegetables are sold to other people and schools thus adding sum income to
the family. Domestic animals, particularly cows and goats, are healthier because they get sufficient water to drink.
A water committee of seven people (4 women and 3 men with a lady as chairperson) is responsible for this project. During project implementation some
challenges were encountered. One of them was lack of skills on water issues among the committee members.
Also problems of leadership have been an important bottleneck. In one incident, villagers scrambled for pipes, posing a challenge to the committee members.
These coupled with slow contributions from community members delayed the implementation process.
Despite of the prevailing economic hardships in the country, the community of Endanoga participated fully with very high enthusiasm up to the final stage of this
project. In order to ensure sustainability of the project, a water fund is in place and everybody is obliged to contribute a small amount of money to it on monthly basis. Training to committee members and local water attendants has been necessary, especially on the rights of citizen as stipulated in the National Water Policy.
Income generating activities can assist women to be less reliant on their husbands and create their own income and increase their self-esteem. FIDE staff has encouraged women to engage in specific cheap and
easy to manage economic activities, such as poultry keeping, horticulture, agro-processing and small businesses. Through training and credit provision FIDE has made it possible that a large group of women have
increased their income by at least 50%.
The introduction of pure-bred cockerels to crossbreed with local chickens produces significantly larger chickens and more eggs. With the help of FIDE 8 poultry sheds were constructed as demonstration units.
Cross breed chickens are also less prone to diseases than commercially available broilers, which require better and more expensive feed. Women groups have
also been provided with training on good horticultural practices, while officials from the Tengeru Horticulture College in Arusha provided additional training on mushroom cultivation.
FIDE has conducted many trainings on agro-
processing of farm produce; nutritious flour, jam, peanut butter, mango pickle and vegetable drying. In Galapo village there are now several women groups, who manufacture porridge flour for children, which has a variety of ingredients grown in the area.
FIDE organize training and exchange visit on
business management, cost benefit analysis and entrepreneur.skill to women groups.
FIDE in collaboration with Babati District council and Mrara Hospital trained the “Husband and Wife” programme on family planning and HIV/AIDs. Separate training on HIV/AIDS to youths and students was also provided in many of the villages.
FIDE supports the a vocational training centre where girls can learn artistic skills and face the challenges of life.
Rehabilitation of Lake catchment
With the support of WWF-Tanzania, FIDE implemented an environmental conservation project from 2001-2003. The aim was to rehabilitate the catchment area
of Lake Babati. FIDE worked with 4 villages around the Lake (Nangara, Singe, Managhat and Nakwa) with the aim of rectifying the environmental damage caused by deforestation unsustainable tree felling, overgrazing and wrong farm practices. Activities carried out in the four villages included training on agroforestry natural
vegatation regeneration tree nuseries.
Other areas included in the training are digging of contour banks, problems associated with livestock tracks leading to the lake, and non enforcement of by-laws.In order to effect the above measures, FIDE
facilitated the formation and or revival of environment committees in the villages.
In line with national policy that accords education a principal role in development, FIDE puts due emphasis on the sector.
A quick survey conducted recently shows that there is a dearth of structures in schools, teaching materials and equipments as well as poor school attendance of orphans and children living in difficult conditions. Most kindergaten teachers were found to be lacking in basic pedagogical skills.
In order to help solve these problems, FIDE has supported the construction of 11 classrooms , 3 preschool classrooms, a dining hall, kitchen and teachers’ houses in various schools. In view of high rate of youth unemployment due to lack of skills FIDE has supported the establishment of a vocational training centre at which youths are trained in basic masonry, carpentry toiloring and
embroidory. After graduation, the youths are loaned basic working tools. In the same vein about 100 youths and teachers have received basic computer course since 2002 todate.
One preschool teacher has been provided with two -year teaching course, 10 more teachers will get such course within the next two years.
In 2001 FIDE started supporting the first batch of 26 orphans with school fees, uniforms, stationary and text
books (one of these students is now at the university level pursuing a BSc degree in Engineering). From 2007 FIDE started supprting another group of 75 such orphan students. This time FIDE widened its net
of support to include bicycles, mattresses, uniforms to the few in more difficult conditions.
In Singe village FIDE supports a vocational training centre that caters for primary school leavers and offer opportunities to learn a profession that will sustain them in the future.