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New cross-border market created for onion farmers

The Mang’ola valley is famous in East Africa for onion production. The valley is part of Lake Eyasi basin located in Karatu district, Arusha region, in Northern Tanzania. Before LECOFANET formation (an umbrella organization that brings together onion farmer groups in the basin), farmers operated at 30% of their productivity potential because of limited incentives (mainly limited access to inputs and output markets) to increase their farm investments. Farmers commonly produced low yielding varieties of bulb onions such as Red Creole, whose seed was recycled season after season; and the framers couldn’t recall how long the seed of the local onion varieties had been recycled. One middle aged farmer from Mbuga Nyekundu village recalls inheriting the seed from his father 10 years ago! In summary, the situation in Mang’ola can be described as un-predictable buyers and un-reliable farmers.

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