IAC is based in Misugusugu Division of Kibaha District, Pwani Province Republic of Tanzania., its activities include farming pineapples on a 15 hectares farm in Misugusugu area in1996. They started contracting farmers to provide pineapples in 1998. Diversified to other crops due to the terrain and weather changes. The marshy lowlands which were naturally left idle were panted with paddy rice during the long rains (Marcrh - May) and during the Short rains, these fields were planted with horticultural crops. These include: indigenous vegetables (solanaceae), spinach, cowpeas, water melons etc.
The region is popular with cassava traditionally grown in the entire region. In 2000, Â IAC engaged farmers to produce improved varieties of higher yielding cassava and development of cassava value addition like cassava flour. This greatly improved the quantities produced and some excesses were available for sale locally. The region enjoys its close proximity to the city of Dar-es-salaam which is a big market. Overtime farmers appreciated the cassava farming but not without some unique challenges. Every household grew substantial quantities of cassava both for domestic consumption and for sale.
In 2008, there was a glut of cassava production thus we established milling for export market. This came as a solution to the farmers who could benefit from better market prices, a diversification of the markets therefore demand for the cassava flour remained high. This also came with its challenges. The export market demanded stringent quality standards. The farmers would mix the improved varieties and their traditional ones. This was not acceptable to export markets due to variation in taste.
Our organization has been working on establishing nurseries to multiply the desired cassava varieties to ensure the farmers recoup the Â market. This process of conversion is time consuming because it involves judiciously uprooting reasonable area of cassava crop for each farmer and gradually replacing with the newer varieties. This faces challenges because farmers resist this program because of food security threat. To mitigate this, we intend to introduce all-year-round horticultural farming using modern technologies that will be economical in utilizing the available resources. We are training farmers to adopt drip irrigation and greenhouse vegetable farming especially because of their water-use economy and use of meagre space.