Vegetable project is a project that is carried out at Matipwili village under supervision of Thomas Wouters, an agronomist from Belgium who joined the team of SANA in April 2010 to apply his expertise and experience into this project.
This project is themed to economically empowering women of Matipwili village by leading them to sustainable utilisation of the resources they have; that is fertile land and water just a step away from where the project is. The project uses biological fertilizers as well as pesticides which are friendly to the soil and has no side effects to the users of the vegetables. The rotation technique is also applied to keep the fertility of the land and thus try to control the increasing of farm lands.
The project at its pilot stage started with a group of fifteen women and using an area of one acre. The results have been positive; the women in the group are very enthusiastic to making the project a success. They have in a short time managed to adopt the biological ways of producing vegetables, this gives hope to Mr. Thomas that this project has a potential to fly and become a real success in the nearest future. Right now the fields have growing plants such as cucumber, squash, sweet melons, amaranths and tomatoes. Also, the group will be planting aromatic plants to put in combination with certain plantation like 'mint and tomatoes' as a way to repulse insects.
Our aim with this project is to increase the production of vegetables so we could utilise the existing market around Saadani (villages and lodges) area and in the long run of course to market the vegetables in other areas like Dar es Salaam. This is the surest way of supporting the women of this group and spreading the help to the other women in the village. As the segment of the community, the women will understand the essence of protecting the natural environment for their benefit as well as for the future generations. Still in the plans is the provision of entrepreneurial skills to the group members as well the basic skills that will help them to manage the income they receive.
SANA has been currently carrying a study research on how to develop the production of fuel briquettes from the dry biomass. The aim is to find a more sufficient way to produce the briquettes in the quantity enough for the use of the villagers as well as for the exportation. Exportation of the briquette charcoal is aimed to replace the exportation of the normal charcoal that is currently practiced by many members of the communities in the villages around Saadani National Park.
SANA previously sponsored training and one kiln of producing char-dust to a group of villagers at Mkange village community. The training concerned the use of the kiln on burning the dry bio mass from the farms to produce char powder which is needed for the briquettes. The char powder was supplied to ARTI Tanzania (the company that produces briquettes) and the rest was used by the group to produce briquettes using the manual machine that the group have.
The forests in the villages around Saadani village are highly exploited by the charcoal makers in their efforts to increase their income. The production of charcoal is taking place during the dry seasons when agricultural activities are not done. The market for this charcoal is in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam where the majority of people use traditional charcoal for the domestic uses.
The biological way of producing charcoal briquettes takes less time and less energy while producing more efficient charcoal that burns longer. We believe this method can lead people to the sustainable use of their environment while improving their lives with the increased income.