The Bombo Majimoto Project is a part of the 2Seeds Network. The 2Seeds Network is an incorporated non-profit organization that oversees small, effective agricultural development projects in Tanzania. 2Seeds focuses on selecting and mentoring passionate young graduates to work collaboratively with African partners. Together, teams design and implement sustainable projects that address the issues of food and income security.
The mission of the Bombo Majimoto Project is to facilitate cooperative action among the people of Bombo Majimoto that promotes the use of agricultural best practices, encourages the dissemination of education between farmers, and increases access to higher value markets. In its first few years, the Bombo Majimoto Project in conjunction with the 2Seeds Network is working to organize local farmers to cultivate high value crops during the dry seasons using improved farming techniques, and to market produce cooperatively in order to reach larger markets with better prices. This will be accomplished through the creation and continued operation of a farmer’s cooperative, with members coordinating planting schedules in order to be able to sell collectively, attending trainings on various farming and business techniques, and meeting regularly to discuss progress and share knowledge.
This project is particularly suited to the circumstances in Bombo Majimoto for a number of reasons. There is only one road to Bombo Majimoto, and it turns to mud during the rainy seasons, making market access incredibly difficult at these times – a problem, given that the rainy seasons are when it is easiest for farmers to cultivate vegetables. That being said, vegetable cultivation is possible at all times of the year, as the valley in Bombo Majimoto has exceptionally fertile soil and year-round water availability. Furthermore, vegetable cultivation is very profitable during the dry seasons, with prices as much as double what they are during the rainy seasons. And given the better conditions of the road at these times, market access is easier. Individually, farmers are not currently able to cultivate enough to reach the larger markets in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, or Tanga where prices are at a premium, but collectively, they can. They simply lack the organization, and the education.
Although in its initial stages, the Bombo Majimoto Project is taking the form of a farmer’s cooperative, 2Seeds’ work within the community does not stop there. The longer term vision of the project is an inclusive and evolving network of individuals and institutions that encourages the sustainable optimization of Bombo Majimoto’s natural and human resources while creating opportunities for connections both within and outside of the community. In its first year, the Bombo Majimoto Project has partnered with largely more experienced farmers in the community in order to both be able to focus on the market access end of the value chain, and to devote significant time and energy towards building strong foundations for the project. In the future, however, we hope to expand to other realms of the community – to farmers who are interested in the cultivation of high value crops but currently lack the necessary education and finances to start, to women who could provide better nutrition and food security for their families and perhaps turn a small profit by starting permaculture plots behind their houses. Finally, by connecting our farmers to the larger 2Seeds network, we hope to provide increased opportunities for education, the exchange of ideas, and partnership beyond the boundaries of isolated Bombo Majimoto.