Farmer Magazine in Swahili
Mkulima Mbunifu (The Smart Farmer) - Practical guide for farmers in Tanzania
TOF in Swahili (Mkulima Mbunifu, which in English roughly translates as "The Smart Farmer") provides information on ecological farming. Before its launch, Tanzanian farmers had only limited access to such information. The magazine, which is distributed monthly to farmer groups in Tanzania and Kenya, is the only magazine in Swahili for ecological farming in East Africa. The English version of TOF (The Organic Farmer) is produced and distributed in Kenya. It has a readership of 82,038 and contains concrete information on ecological farming methods and practical guidance on simple, sustainable ways to increase yields.
Example MkM: Edition 47, August 2016. Further editions available on Download Mkulima Mbunifu.
TOF Swahili is a project of the Farmer Communication Programme (FCP).
The farmer magazine in Swahili "Mkulima Mbunifu" will improve access by small-scale farmers in Tanzania and neighbouring countries to information on ecological farming methods and facilitate the application of that knowledge in practice.
The significance of ecological farming in Africa differs from that in Europe: Many African farmers are unable to afford conventional farming methods using pesticides and fertilizers and so ecological farming is an essential alternative. It is vital that these impoverished farming families are given help and advice on how to increase yields without major investment. Agriculture remains the main source of income for 80% of Africa's rural population. Farmers have an enormous thirst for knowledge, as education and training in agriculture are almost non-existent in many parts of Africa.
Since 2014, 14,000 copies of the MkM magazine have been produced and distributed monthly (previously every two months). In addition, the magazine is also sent to 125 organisations, including farmer groups, churches, agricultural and other non-profit organisations. It has a total readership of 82,038.
Objectives 2016 - 2018
- Produce the "Mkulima Mbunifu" farmer magazines (MkM) and special topic-related leaflets on ecological agriculture and distribute these products to small-scale farmers and other recipients in Tanzania and neighbouring countries
- Work with similar agricultural organisations in Tanzania and throughout East Africa to develop and improve the content as well as the distribution and marketing of MkM
- Monitor and evaluate the production and distribution processes for the MkM farmer magazines to small-scale farmers in Tanzania and other recipients
As a result of increasing demand, circulation was increased in March 2014 to 14,000 per month. In 2015, the MkM magazine was distributed every month to 1257 farmer groups, 33 agricultural institutions, 26 churches, 21 schools, 26 NGOs and others. Some 82,038 read the magazine regularly. In addition, leaflets are produced on specific topics, containing both new information and information already published in Mkulima Mbunifu, e.g. on poultry rearing. MkM is also available electronically: on its own website, on the Infonet and on social media. The MkM Facebook page had almost 4,700 likes at the end of 2015.