NADO in Focus

Title: NADO in Focus. Locally based partnerships in agriculture

Period: December 2012 – July 2015  Grant: 9.5 mio. DKK

Donor: Danida

Partner: Njombe Agricultural Development Organisation (NADO)

Background and target group:
The population in rural districts around Njombe in southern Tanzania have problems with getting to the authorities with their problems, and to have influence on political strategies which the local authorities are responsible for. There are only a few organisations in the area that speak on behalf of poor farmers. The churches in this area play an important part with regard to solidarity and can provide certain social contributions such as health matters, education etc., but these organisations are often managed top down. Organisations such as NADO have another focus and this is to better the population’s living conditions and to try to influence local decision makers to make political decisions and strategies for development of the target groups.

The background for this project is a need for effective and practical teaching methods for subsistence farmers in Tanzania. The dominant method in Tanzania and several other African countries is, and has been, “Train and Visit” (T&V), where the agricultural advisor comes for a short visit and presents technical methods in the classroom. This method has been shown to be relatively insufficient as it is not oriented to the participants. As a consequence of this, no production improvement is seen. ADDA has good experience from South-East Asia with Field Schools and this method is to be given on and adapted to conditions in Africa.

The target groups are our partner, NADO, and its members, who are the local farmers. The organisation will, through capacity build-up, be able to work with positive development processes in the local society and the farmers and their families will enjoy advantages from the project through agricultural training. According to the 2010 census, Njombe has 362,411 inhabitants spread over 76,000 households, and of these, the project will directly involve 9,000 households, and of these, minimum 6,750 will be women (75%).

Objective and working method:
The overall objective for the project is to improve living conditions for the rural population in the project areas. It is an aim that NADO will have achieved competencies in agricultural training that involve the participants and that are based on dialogue and practical (hands-on) training. It is also an aim that NADO makes gender specific argumentation which can support the civil society in the districts of Wanging’ombe, Makambako and Njombe. It is also an aim, that through build-up of capacity, NADO will contribute to agricultural training that increases productivity and thereby increased income. NADO’s job is also to help organise the farmers in to Farmers’ Groups. When the farmers participate in group activities, they will reduce their individual costs for input will have easier access to information, financial activities (e.g. from banks) and marketing and this can lead to higher profit for the individual farmer. It is through the groups that a strong civil society is built on, as they can be united in their arguments for better conditions when negotiating with the local authorities.

It is the project’s aim to strengthen NADO to have influence on the political decisions for the parts of the official agricultural strategies that are not implemented immediately. This concerns, amongst others, women’s’ rights to land, as well as agricultural subsidies that make competition conditions unfavourable for subsistence farmers.