The focus of this photo journal chapter is “Foods.” On the side of resources, the people of Karagwe grow beautiful banana, coffee, pineapple, sugar, avacado, tomato, potato, cassava, maize, papaya, mango, and trees to name some staples. On the side of challenges, and due to limited broad-based understanding of some basics such as pest control, irrigation, mulching, crop rotation, seed selection, and marketing strategies, the farmers do not get large yields or returns on their harvested crops. Most are subsistence farmers aching for new ways to go about crop production, crop conservation, and harvest-to-market techniques. This is where KARUCO comes in.
Dr. Benson Bagonza founded KARUCO – Karagwe University College to address the need for improved agriculture. His concept paper outlined specifically how the district’s first university could teach entrepreneurial agri-business techniques and transform Karagwe through economic and social improvement. The university was approved by the community, the ELCT (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania) and is supported by governmental organizations and other institutions of higher education. Jan B. Hansen learned of the concept in 2008, knew it would work and pledged her support that resulted in the formation of the nonprofit Educate Tanzania, Inc. in 2010. Meanwhile, the ELCT hired Dr. Brighton Katabaro to coordinate all functions related to the establishment of KARUCO. ETI, the ELCT, European partners — all agree that a university – birthed in Karagwe – would bring about increased understanding and therefore higher yields, healthier crops, better nutrition, sustainable revenue streams, exciting businesses, improved economy and importantly – social justice for those commonly left out of the picture – often women. The idea of a university has taken hold and building has begun (see previous blogs especially “KARUCO Ag Tag” –January/February, 2013).
Join Educate Tanzania on a tour of Karagwe using the beautiful images of Ashley Miller of AshMill Photography in Nashville, Tennessee. Ashley volunteered to accompany Educate Tanzania Inc. (ETI) in January, 2013 as it led a team of curriculum developers from the College of Agriculture at the University of Minnesota and the provost from EARTH (Agricultural) University in Costa Rica. Each year, Ashley tags along with a nonprofit, donating her time, talents, and costs to help worthy nonprofits in Tanzania tell their story. ETI offers its kudos and thanks.