Income generation is a very important aspect of FTK’s work. We want to facilitate economic growth to support sustainable development. Communities need income to be able to pay for school fees, healthcare and other basic needs. Entrepreneurship however is very limited in Lower Moshi and needs much encouragement.
Lower Moshi has large areas of unutilised land, mostly due to the climate and degraded soils. Tree production is an opportunity to reverse land degradation and generate income in the long run. TPC is looking for biomass sources to feed their electricity production and certain trees are very suitable for this purpose.
In Lower Moshi rainfall is limited which makes agricultural production, without irrigation very hard. On the other hand, located in the flood plains of Kilimanjaro, many communities in Lower Moshi suffer annual floodings, often with disastrous consequences for their fragile farm land and crops. Still, many farmers use the flooding of agricultural land by growing crops after the water has been drained (naturally). This is one reason why many farmers produce the same products to be marketed at the same time, which results in lower prices and lower income. Storing of the products is an answer for some grains but other crops are perishable and need immediate marketing.
Developing processing opportunities for these and other products increases the shelve life and the value of the product and can therefore increase the income of the farmers. Besides that, processing creates job opportunities. Customer value is created by offering the opportunity to process (short life span) products into new products which can be stored for longer periods and adds economic value which flows back to the producer.
Most of the farmers in the area are poor and do not have any facilities to process their raw products from the farms. The simple reason is that they do not have clean water, no electricity, no access to a building where clean processing is possible nor do they have the equipment and knowhow to process products. An establishment of direct links between farmers and processors not only increases product quality but also improves agricultural production due to highest quality of raw material desired.
The land degradation in Lower Moshi also has a big effect on grazing animals. Grassland quality has gone down and subsequently cattle quality. Grassland and grazing management can help reverse the degradation. Many villagers depend on cattle for their income, especially Masai. They could increase their income with fewer animals if well managed.
Increasing and diversifying the community’s overall income generating capacity through agriculture and other entrepreneurial activities, while assuring that each person in the community has three meals a day throughout the year.