Rice comes second as the most essential food crop in the United Republic of Tanzania. It is cultivated by mostly smallholder farmers for domestic use and cash crop for local and regional markets. Farmers play significant role in production of rice however more than 30% of the grain is lost after the harvest, from transportation to storage. This cost a smallholder farmer up to 40% of his/her income, for this reason addressing the challenges from the farm is important to increase the food security, poverty reduction and increase economy and insuring markets of access grain.
Rice Postharvest Management and Marketing (RIPOMA) project aims at Empowering Smallholder Women and Youth Farmers on Rice Postharvest Management and Marketing. It is a three years project funded by European Union (80%) and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation (20%) and is implemented in 40 villages in10 wards of Mvomero and Kilosa District in Morogoro Rregion.In Mvomero district; the project is implemented in Dakawa-Mlali, Mvomero, Mkindo-Hembeti, Sungaji and Mtibwa-Kanga wards and in Kilosa dristrict; RIPOMA project is implemented in Ludewa, Kilangali, Msowero and Chanzuru Wards.
The project targets 3,000 smallholder rice farming households and 132 specific value chain actors (100 farmers groups, 5 farmer's associations, 2 cooperatives, 20 traders and 5 Agro dealers). This project will directly benefit 15,000 rural household members, value chain actors and grain consumers.
The project aims to contribute to ecomic development and reducing poverty in SAGCOT through improved rice value chains and market linkages of smallholder farmers, moreover the project also target the increase competativeness and improve postharvest management of smallholder farmers (particularly women and youth) in rice value chains in Morogoro region.
RIPOMA project approaches are Marketing System Development, Good Agricultural Practices and Women and Youth Economic Empowermen.
Some of the main activities perfomed by the project are training of rice producers on Postharvest technologies (PHT's), Stratherning technical service provision on Postharvest Management (PHM) and input supply chains at public and private levels, Raising awareness on National Rice Development Stratergy (NRDS) and advocating for the existance of country's PHM stratergy.
Creating marketing linkages with millers and traders, facilitate registration of farmers groups and SMEs with TFDA, TBS, ISO, promote market research through visit, trade fairs and media and capacity building on operations and management of goups/associations and WRS.
The project is estimated to build capacities of smallholder rice producers in harvest and postharvest management, innovate and create a sustainable farmer marketing systems and ensure that related capacities for marketing linkages in the rice value chain are developed.
RIPOMA project is also estimated to creating the environment where proffessionally management of storage facilities are in place and effective partnership is in place between smallholder producer groups, private sectors and LGAs. Building synegies and complement issues such as (GSE) and trigger additional investments in the sector.
Sustainability of the RIPOMA project is ensured through great participation of smallholder rice producers in the project particilarly women and youth, inclusive approach that involves patners and stakeholders along the value chains and participation of the LGAs planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation in ensuring project ownership.
The project will also ensure lead farmers/Extension workers receive training for regular advisory services, LGAs and SIDO continue providing advisory services to the groups linked to them and registration of farmers grouos at the LGA to facilitate easy access of loans.
Key partners of the projects are: CODERT, ASA, ANSAF,SIDO, Mkindo FTC, Ministry of Agriculture, DBB Agro-Initiative, JRT-Agri Services Ltd and LGAs in Morogoro region Administrative Secretary's Office, Mvomero District and Kilosa District.