Mazingira Village Community Banking (Vicoba) group, well known as MVG Vicoba, continues benefiting its members and the community schools after planting coffee, fruit and wood trees on Mukibogye primary school land for commercial and environmental conservation reasons.
Coffee is among the major commercial crops grown in Tanzania in highland regions like Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Bukoba and Ngara. The coffee type grown here is Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is grown in Northern and central Tanzania, and Robusta is more grown in western part of the country due to its conducive weather, soil and good market. MVG invested in building a Robusta seedlings nursery to serve potential farmer demand in Ngara district.
The MVG Vicoba’s main purpose is to assist its member’s families through social and economic activities that generate a predictable income for their Vicoba savings that increase members’ benefit share payouts, which can be used to invest in better homes and community improvements. MVG Vicoba wants its community schools to generate an income to be able buy itself feeding ingredients to assist parents’ contribution for self-sufficient breakfast serving at school for self-reliance.
DKG, the SODAT manager, who is a member and accountant of the MVG Vicoba group says that Coffee is a long-term harvest crop that has a good market price, with 1 Kg of coffee beans selling for 3,000 TZS / US$ 1.25. The school has planted 300 coffee plants and is expecting to start producing a minimum of 1.8 tonnes of coffee yearly in 3 years.
The income from planted coffee, bananas and avocados will buy corn and beans for an emergency stock for school breakfast feeding whenever parents contribute inadequately to sustain feeding until the next harvests. Also, unused emergency stock can be sold for a profit in order to build a savings account for paying breakfast running costs.