In southwest Tanzania, there are several villages in the mountains with no WiFi or electricity, multiple transportation challenges and a scarcity of water. But these villages are also home to farmers who are successfully producing food for their families and friends on neighborhood plots of land.
It’s those farmers Holly Budd traveled to meet. Holly, who is chairperson of the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association, visited Tanzania last year as a volunteer for Catholic Relief Services’ Farmer-to-Farmer program. Farmer-to-Farmer promotes sustainable economic growth, agricultural development and food security in communities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. During her visit, Holly helped farmers better organize as a group and to learn more about business contracts.
“So we learned about what was in contracts and what would be important to them to have in a farming contract. I wanted them empowered to actually say, ‘I don’t want this. Cross it out and initial it.’”
But Holly says people in the United States can also learn from those overseas.
“They’re not dependent on anyone else because they’re producing it for themselves. Look at the people living in the states and in the city now. If we have the apocalypse, many of us have nowhere to go for food except to raid the shelves at the 7-Eleven. And once that’s gone, we’re done,” Holly says. “But over there, they have a lot of knowledge about how to grow their own food. They make their own bricks. They can build their own houses and they’re going to be chugging along the same way now and then, whereas we’re going to be falling apart.”