I visited Neema and Godbless for eight days in the end of February 2020 and arrived in Norway just before Covid 19 started its full worldwide attack. The stay was very interesting. We were seven Norwegians all together. One of them was my friend professor Oddbjørn Bukve. He gave a lecture about the development of the history of Norwegian agriculture from late 1800 up to today. The audience was people connected to “Godbless diary and agriculture cooperation”. People found the lecture very relevant to the situation in Tanzania and the challenges local cooperation meet.
The audience sitting in the storeroom of the cooperation listening to the lecture
A person in the audience had, together with his wife, donated a 20 hectar farm over to Godbless and Neema as a gift in gratitude for their great community effort. This had happened some months before we arrived. We visited the farm. More about this in the end of this blog.
Today, February 18th 2021, Bethel School and Home again is in a very good shape. I use the word again because of the closing of all the schools in Tanzania from the middle of March to late June. This hit especially the private schools hard since they are dependent of school fees from the parents. At Bethel School and Home the teachers and the other workers received some money during these difficult months. Gradually from July, most of the parents were able to pay at least part of the school fee.
Now, the school has about has about 600 pupils of which about 200 live in the boarding. Last autumn the Form VII pupils had very good results at the national examination, and so had Form IV pupils.
Plans for the 20 hectar farm
A small part of the farm
You find the farm not far from Bethel School and Home, 15-20 minutes driving. The area is green and lush and the impression is that trees and plants thrive here. The farm has some cows and produce around 35 l milk per day. There are also some production of banana, vegetables, maze and some more. The plan is to increase a lot. To day 16 men work here and this may be expanded.
The production will be organized in five departments. The 16 men have chosen to which department they shall belong. The departments are:
Cows. Production of milk, more than 100 l per day at the end of the year. Production of calf/meat. Production of manure fertilizer to give trees and plants in the farm a happy life.
Maze, beans and sunflower (10 l oil from 80 kg sunflower)
Chicken and pigry Eggs and chicken flesh (No chicken and pigs today)
Banana, sweet potatoes and cassawa
Vegetables and fruit
Some of the vegetables
An important goal is to produce enough and healthy food for the children in school and boarding. This means about 50 l milk per day. Now they have an egg every second week. In the future they shall have every second day. And they will also have more vegetables and fruit.
Of course the farm must also earn money so that it is possible to pay the workers and contribute running school and boarding. Already people from neighbour villages come and by vegetables, fruit and milk
So I hope the pandemic situation will make it possible to visit them again, perhaps next year.