Tanzanian Organic Agriculture Movement
Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) is a registered NGO formed in 2005 under the NGO Act of 2002. We are an umbrella organization that coordinates and promotes the development of organic farming among farmers, distributors and consumers through networking and information distribution. TOAM sees development of the organic farming sector as a crucial factor for sustainable livelihoods and envisions establishing a vibrant, sustainable and mutually beneficial organic sector in Tanzania.
Our 115 members include various types of institutions and organizations such as farmers associations and cooperatives, NGOs, organic operators, companies, distributors, researchers and trainers. TOAM provides and distributes information on organic food to its members and other stakeholders in the whole of Tanzania.
Vision – Mission - Strategy
Vision: TOAM envisions to establish a vibrant, sustainable, and mutually beneficial organic sector in Tanzania.
Mission: TOAM exists to provide capacity building on organic practices, quality management for compliance to organic standards, improvement to value chains, lobbying and advocating for supportive policies, and information collection and distribution.
Strategy: TOAM implements projects with partners to reach out and support smallholder farmers in improving their livelihoods and adapting to climate change while conserving the environment and biodiversity
Main areas of intervention
Awareness Creation - consumer understanding of the benefits and advantages of organic agriculture and organic products is still developing. Although farmers and experts from various institutions have acknowledged the potential of organic farming, the majority of people in East Africa have not fully appreciated organic products or the attractive market opportunities they bring. Hence increasing public awareness and understanding of organic farming and organic products is one of our core objectives. Tapping into public opinion enables stakeholders to respond appropriately to environmental opportunities and challenges relating to organic agriculture. At the same time consumers start to appreciate the possibility of enjoying healthy, safe and sustainably produced goods.
Capacity Building – knowledge and experience are key factors for building a sustainable organic agriculture sector. Knowledge on organic farming principles, standards and quality management systems, and technical know-how on production and pest management practices are essential to our members. Through organising organic training courses and supporting organic training centres, knowledge and experience of organic farming is gathered and distributed among a wide range of stakeholders. Our competent trainers, facilitators and technical staff are providing high quality training courses on organic agriculture and value chain development.
Information – the accumulation, handling and distribution of information on the organic sector is another focus point. The exchange of information between members and stakeholders is promoted, and strong collaboration with research institutions helps by investigating, understanding and documenting organic farming practices. The collected information about organic and conventional farming practices enables the realization of further improvements and developments.
Lobbying and Advocacy – together with our members and partners we work to gain widespread support for organic farming. We create opportunities to convince officials, government institutions, and policy makers of the many benefits organic farming brings, and work to influence decision makers to promote the organic farming agenda.
Linkages and Networking - in order to realize a sustainable agricultural future, we need strong ties between organic organizations. We aim to facilitate new networks and expand existing ones. Networks allow our members to learn from each other, share knowledge and develop a stronger voice on the national and international stage.
Approach and Methodology
TOAM uses the Value Chain Development Approach to foster economic growth with poverty reduction through involvement of large numbers of small holder farmers. Farmers are trained on the structures, systems and relationships that define the value chain. TOAM helps to improve or upgrade their products and processes, to access and develop domestic and international markets and enhance trade and quality of organic products. As a consequence smallholder farmers are able to raise their level of income, create wealth and escape poverty. TOAM plays a facilitator role to the value chain actors by establishing linkages and building the capacity for the value chain to operate sustainably.
TOAM recognizes and is determined to work toward enhancing public and private partnerships for both continuity and sustainability. The quality of relationships between different stakeholders is a key factor influencing the functioning of a value chain. Strong, mutually beneficial relationships between stakeholders facilitate the transfer of information, skills and services. Therefore TOAM collaborates with members and various stakeholders such as public research and training institutions, local government agencies, private companies, processors, farmers associations and cooperatives, other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and faith based organizations (FBOs).