Songwe — HEIFER Tanzania, a Non-Governmental Organisation, has handed over 296 cattle to support coffee farmers in ten villages in Songwe region's Mbozi District. The support through the Mbozi milk project aims at supplementing the citizens' income by selling milk and its products.
Handing over the support to Mbozi District Commissioner John Palingo, Heifer Tanzania Assistant Director Rose Marando said the project seeks to economically empower particularly coffee farmers.
She named the villages that have benefited from the support as Nansama, Mpito, Shiwinga, Isansa, Sambewe, Lungwa, Iwalanje, Hatelele, Igamba and Itepula where she said coffee does not benefit the farmers as some of them are selling crops before harvesting time to get subsistence money.
Ms Marando said coffee farmers are compelled to sell their crops when they produce fruits to vendors to earn subsistence money and is obliged to sell at a very low price. Speaking of the Mbozi milk project,
she said one farmer was given a free female cow that is already pregnant and after birth the farmer is obliged to give the calf to another farmer so he can keep the calf for the purpose of getting milk for health and business.
Mbozi Milk Project Manager, Boaz Sadock said earlier they have handed over 200 cattle to farmers in ten villagers which have given birth to 96 calves and will be given to other farmers as gifts.
Mbozi District Commissioner John Palingo has directed the district council to ensure the project succeeds, saying many projects which are handed over to the district council died a natural death. "I ask the council officials to ensure that this project becomes sustainable because it has been proved successful," he said.