From crop calendar to business planning

Tanzanian farmers plan the application of organic fertilizers with a simple form of crop calendar. Together with the farmers we created a graphic that integrates all the activities of a season. This allows farmers to match their treatments and cultural activities as pruning and applications of mineral additives to rain season, crop development stages, and other periods of mayor incidences of pests and diseases. The photo shows a calendar for coffee (kahawa in Suahili)

Based upon this simple tool for planning activities we are able to start talking business with the farmers. this is because with this planning farmers build the bridge to start thinking in quantities of materials and ingredients and labor needed.

In june 2014, 25 farmers started a business planning course at coffee cooperative of Mbinga, Tanzania. The outcome of this course was a draft of a business plan that would allow farmers to join efforts to produce organic fertilizers and offer them to other farmers within their cooperative.

One year later, this business plan turned into real business as farmers are now producing  organic fertilizers for the first 100 customers and have a potential market of 1500 farmers and near 4000 hectares.