November 19, 2021
SHEP (Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment & Promotion) is an approach that realizes "Market Oriented Agriculture" and converts farmers mind from "grow and sell" to "grow to sell".
In Tanzania, JICA, in collaboration with the Government of Tanzania through Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), has formulated a project called "Project for Strengthening DADP (District Agricultural Development Plan) Planning and Implementation Capacity through Use of SHEP Approach" (TANSHEP) from January 2019 to December 2023.
TANSHEP has been promoting SHEP approach to a total of 56 farmers' groups in Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Tanga Regions. While traditionally farmers looked for the market after production ("Grow and Sell"), in the SHEP approach, they undertake market surveys before starting production, based on which they decide what to produce, how, and when, according to the market needs (that is, "Grow to Sell").
Mr. Ayubu Ally Kihio a farmer of Maisha bora farmer group (FG) from Bumbuli District, Tanga Region, said, "We benefited from the trainings of the project, acquired a knowledge mostly on market survey, record keeping and action planning. Now we consider the agriculture is a kind of business and discuss with other members how to carry out profitable agriculture in strategic manner by ourselves."
In addition, these training gave Mr. Ayubu more courage and confidence to increase his cultivation area from 1acre to 3.5 acre, he purchased agriculture inputs without waiting for the project's inputs and he changed tomato variety from local to hybrid variety which is more productive and profitable. In turn these actions increased his income, and managed to renovate his shop and purchase a motorcycle.
Other success story is that the farmers from Migombani, Migungani and Tujitegemee FG in Karatu districts in Arusha Region used to cultivate onion all the time. After received the training, they realized that water melon is much profitable than onion and high demand from the market.
Although it is a challenge to change people's mind, JICA continue to disseminate the SHEP approach in Tanzania and encourage farmer's mind set with the project's slogan of "Anzia Sokoni, Malizia Shambani, Kwa Kipato Zaidi" ("Start from market and complete at farm for more income") on the ground.
The farmers enjoy to harvest watermelon which is more profitable than onion.