Better Lives

News & Updates

Ngara, TZ – New banana trees start to supply school breakfast – 15 June 2021

The Mukibogoye Primary School and local community are very grateful for Better Lives partner SODAT’s assistance with re-planting their banana trees after disease devastated the hybrid variety of banana trees. The new trees are performing well and expected to begin yielding bananas for breakfast. To show their appreciation, the primary school students gathered brown grasses as mulch ground cover for the banana tree roots.

SODAT had requested assistance with protecting the new trees during the upcoming dry season, so the students organized themselves and gathered the grasses in order to keep the soil cooler and moist as they move into the drier months. Mulching provides many benefits for soil health. It prevents weeds from growing, blocks direct sunlight, and helps hold moisture in the soil. All of these maintain the health of the soil. As the mulch breaks down, more mulch is added creating a composting effect that improves the soil structure.

The students wanted to collect more brown grass; however, increased population has resulted in growing settlements that reduce the amount of grass land. Consequently, SODAT is looking into mulch alternatives like coffee bean husks because the area grows a lot of Arabica coffee. When the beans are roasted, their dried skin falls off as husks that are thrown away or collected for fertilizer.