A regional development project, in cooperation with local authorities in Iringa region of Tanzania, which will provide vocational training in agriculture for youth, local farmers and young single mothers, and create jobs through processing, and ‘value addition’ to products grown on the farm.
Farm for the Future (FFF), with its 651acres, is a unique regional development project in Iringa in Tanzania. It combines commercial farming with training and learning for local farmers, young single mothers, youth and children of all ages from kindergarten to high school.
The area is characterized by poverty, huge unemployment, low education, and low agricultural productivity. Our proporsel is to greatly contribute to improve the standard of living in the area.Ilula Orphan Program (IOP) puts a lot of emphasis on education as the way to improve the condition, and is doing a marvellous job in helping educate and taking care of children and young people. The Farm for the Future is a project that will enhance this further. This is a project that will bring revenue to the owners, education to farmers in the region, jobs to young people and young single mothers, and finally agricultural education to children of all ages. This will indeed help towards a better standard of living in the area. The good cooperation with the Iringa local and regional authorities is crucial for success, and as the project go forward and we learn more what works, this may be a concept for development and cooperation that can be copied also in other areas with similar challenges. We have the farm, the plans and the know-how together with our very good partners.
But, of course – there is still a lot to be done before we can start this. First of all, - find the money! We’re now working on that.
For example, emphasis on creating commercial jobs, combined with vocational training in agriculture and renewable energy, are the priorities of the Norwegian authorities/NORAD in order for them to contemplate giving a contribution.
The plan is that some of the profits from the commercial operation of the farm will go to create an attractive learning centre in agriculture.
The plan is as follows:
A complete set of new buildings and space for 30 dairy cows, 50 goats and 50 calves/oxes. There are plans to cultivate corn, soy, sunflower and beans on 500 acres.
The commercial part of the FFF, will initially have around 30 permanent jobs, which will increase to 100 through seasonal work and through the processing part of the products grown on the farm.
The competence part of the farm could engage up to 100 people annually, with priority on capacity building for local farmers, young single mothers and youth. The farm is mainly thought driven by youth, and it has a great potential to become an important arena for VICOBA (local bank) activity, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) currently operates in the area.
A curriculum for all target groups is under development, and active and targeted communication will be part of the project characteristics.
This competence part is suitable for cooperation between several NGOs, like the YWCA YMCA Global, The Royal Norwegian Society or Development (Norges Vel), and Norwegian Church Aid(KN),which also aims to contribute to IOP becoming more financially independent in the future.
The FFF requires considerable expertise on the board, management and operations; this will ensure a systematic and knowledgeable training and further development.
Some highlights from the process:
IOP bought a 651-acre old tobacco farm in 2014. The idea was to create additional income for the orphanage, so they could become more financially independent. However, the process of the project highlighted the fact that this is a regional development project, where the region and local interests must be involved in the development.
From the summer 2015, the project has worked systematically to find out the potential in the farm. This has been done in cooperation with the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro and Norwegian University and Life Science at Ås, Yara Tanzania, the Royal Norwegian Society for Development in Dar es Salaam and The Norwegian Peace Corps.
We are very thankful for their expertise, time and always generous sharing of this expertise in order to enhance the projects development.
In January 2017 the project succeeded to gather MD of Yara Tanzania, MD of Yara Africa, MD of SAGCOT, management of Norges Vel and SUA, representatives from the YWCA - YMCA Global, regional and local authorities, to two days’ work shop at IOP in ilula. Two local farmers, two young single mothers and two students also attended the two days.
The know-how and the plans generated so far was the basis for the processes during the 2- day conference on IOP premises.
Day 1 - all this expertise agreed on a master plan for Farm for the Future (corn, soy, sunflower and beans).
Day 2 - a work process to bring up a business plan for the project. Norges Vel was moderating this day.
That day’s work will culminate in a business plan by 1 April 2017. By that time, we need to estimate costs and revenues on a more detailed level, so that the uncertainty in the project is reduced. Updated drawings will also be present as part of the plan.
Yara and SAGCOT said the project is unique, and that it must retain its simplicity to succeed.
A project committee is established, where the Norges Vel, SUA, Yara Tanzania and IOP is well represented.
The objective is to ensure adequate funding in 2017, so that the construction could start in
2018, allowing the farm to open in 2020. So far no money is promised, but we work on all possibilities, public and private. The IOP family intend to bring in part of the funding in 2018,2019 and 2020!
Farm for the Future is pep-talked up of local, regional and national authorities in Tanzania. In October and November 2016, the project was presented to the Regional Commissioner in Iringa, members of Parliament from Iringa, management of Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro (SUA), Managing Director of Yara Tanzania, Managing Director of Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), former cabinet minister in several ministries, Prof.Peter Msolla. They are all great “ambassadors” for the project. The Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania is kept informed of the developments in the project.
Funding:The capital to realize Farm for the Future, is believed to be around1.2 mill US dollar, divided into 900 000 US dollars on the commercial part and 300 000 US dollars on the capacity building section.
The commercial part will be organized as a Ltd company with IOP as the owner of 51% of the shares. The company Farm for the Future Ltd (under establishment) rents the farm from IOP. In the development phase, investors are invited into the company, while in the longer term, the plan is to have IOP along with regional and local community responsible for running the farm.
Work is going on with alternative funding models from Norad, Ministry of foreign Affairs, institutions and private capital. IOP and its 8 international committees, have to target to collect 180 000 US dollars as capital contribution to the project (e.g. funds two 75 Hp tractors coming from IOP USA, and funds for Cow shed from IOP Norway).
IOP encourages businesses and individuals to engage in the development of the Farm for the Future, which is perhaps one of the most important Regional Development project in the area in many years.
"There is also a marked global trend towards sustainable agriculture, building on traditional methods which use fewer chemical inputs, carefully manage soil and water resources, and work hand-in-hand with nature" Helen Clark, UNDP