End of November 2016 we started several agricultural projects on the Fonelisco Property called “The New Land”. Our aim is to generate an own income in Mwanza to enable the organization to work independently in the future.
Our original budget was 10.000€, in TZS 22.737.100.
DETAILLED INFORMATION ON THE DIFFERENT PROJECTS
- Chicken Project
For the chicken project, our original budget was 3.672.000 TZS (3.072.000 TZS for the construction of the shelter, 600.000 TZS for running costs for a three months’ period). In November and December, we built the chicken shelter and bought the materials like medicine and food. Making these expenses, we could mostly stay within the budget. Though, our budget did not include the costs for 15 trips of building stones (each 30.000 TZS, total 450.000 TZS) and 14 pieces of wire march (each 15.000 TZS, total 210.000 TZS) that necessarily had to be bought for 660.000 TZS. These costs have been covered by the buffer money of 4.015.100 TZS that we had laid aside for unexpected alterations of the budget and emergencies.
Unfortunately, to start the project we depend on a local donor who promised us to donate 200 chicks for free. Even though we’re reminding him regularly, he still hasn’t provided the chicks. It is a difficult situation to make him give us the chicks more quickly since we don’t want to risk to lose his support if we pushed him too much. Since everything else is fixed, we hope that he will provide the chicks very soon so that we can carry out the project immediately. We have noticed a slight alteration to our original budget concerning the running costs. The originally calculated price for new chicks was 500 TZS, but unfortunately it is 1.500 TZS per chick. In total, this will lower our income by 200.000 TZS for each three-month’s period to 1.100.000 TZS.
- Cow Project
The budget for the cow project was 6.000.000 TZS which included transport, vaccination and the purchase of 5 cows. We have paid all the costs in advance and expect to receive the cows at the beginning on April when they are pregnant. Until now, we could stay within the budget and everything works like it’s supposed to. We will provide more information after the arrival of the cows. Selling the milk should result in an expected monthly income of 2.250.000 TZS.
- Corn/ Maize Project
The original budget for the corn/ maize project was 6.650.000 TZS. During the phase of implementation of the corn project in an eight acres’ area, we could stay within the budget of 2.600.000 TZS. We have also paid three times for the weeding of the rice (1.620.000 TZS). Upcoming costs will appear during the time of the harvest. For the maize part of the project, we have decided to wait with the implementation. This is due to the fact, that Tanzania, like many other countries in Africa, faces a huge drought which started in September/ October. The smaller rain season which usually takes place in November/ December, had been absent. In beginning of March, it rained for the first time during months and just for four days. That’s why we decided to save the money for the maize (1.480.000 TZS) and delay this part of the project until there will be more rain.
For the rice, we had extra expenses due to the drought, which are as follows:
To avoid the loss of the harvest, we used our generator to irrigate the rice three times per week. The generator uses 10 litres (2.200 TZS each) per day. The gas had to be transported to the New Land and the generator had to be brought to maintenance five times. In total, we spent 2.300.000 TZS extra due to the drought. The money was taken from the buffer money that we had explicitly determined to reconcile situations like these.
We desperately hope for more rain in the next weeks. Usually around the middle of March, the big rain season is supposed to begin and last until end of April.
The second problem we face is again the struggle with hippos. Despite the fence which is supposed to protect the rice from these animals, they could break through the fence three times and destroyed part of the rice. The fence had been fixed every time they broke through. Until now, we cannot tell for sure how much rice we lost so that we cannot conclusively assess the effect on the final profit.
Despite of all these problems, we are positive to be able to harvest in June. Normally, we expected a profit of 18.000.000 TZS just for the rice. Even though we might end up with less after paying for unexpected costs and losing some of the harvest to the hippos, the profit should still be at least 12.000.000 TZS. As soon as we have enough rain to start the maize project, another profit of 12.500.000 TZS can be expected when the maize can be harvested.
- Vegetable Project
The original budget for the vegetable project was 2.400.000 TZS. Fortunately, we could stick to our budget. We grow tomatoes, onions, pepper, cabbage, spinach, sweet potatoes and other food. Since vegetable grows mostly in dry season, the current weather is very suitable to this project. This week, we have started to sell some of the pepper and the spinach. At the end of the month, we will report whether the profit meets our expectations of 3.000.000 TZS.
We expected to face some challenges during the execution of the projects. Still, we are very happy about the proceedings despite the external problems we have. We could mostly stay within our calculated budget and almost all the numbers we gathered proved to be correct. The buffer money assured the carrying out of our projects. We have spent another 60.000 TZS for a one-time payment to a worker on the New Land who helped us a lot with the execution of the projects and needed money for food. That’s why we’re left with a buffer money of 1.005.100 TZS which will most likely be used to keep the generator running to ensure the irrigation of the rice.
As soon as the maize, cows and chicken projects can start, we will increase the potential of the agricultural projects a lot. With the vegetable, we have now begun to profit directly from the projects. With all the progress on the New Land, we have made a fundamental step towards a better future for FONELISCO as a sustainable and independent organization.