The story of Francisco Andrea

One of the most progressive RIPAT farmers is Francisco Andrea. He is 45 years old and lives on a small farm with his wife and four children in Karatu district in Tanzania. He owns 2.5 acres; one acre is used for maize cultivation, and another acre for banana - a new crop in his village. The remaining half acre is used for other fruits and vegetables, and the house itself also stands on it. Apart from cultivating his fields, Francisco also engages in poultry and pig production.

He is the chairperson of one of the RIPAT groups in Ayalaliyo village. The group was established in 2008, and Francisco is now one of the group super-farmers. The group is still active, with 33 members (18 women and 15 men), even though the project has ended and external support has stopped. Such group continuation after project conclusion has turned out to be the "norm" in RIPAT.

Francisco was trained together with government extension officers in how to spread the technologies he learned through the RIPAT project to other farmers in the area. Today he functions as a paraprofessional, making an income from teaching other farmers. He has trained 70 farmers in his own village of Ayalaliyo, and a further 150 farmers in neighbouring villages.

His main task is to help farmers lay out their banana fields, i.e. to plan the rows and spacing; the farmers dig the holes themselves. For planning the layout of a field with 100 banana holes, he will receive approximately USD 6 from the farmer. In addition to carrying out this spreading work with individuals, Francisco has established two new RIPAT groups in collaboration with the local government extension officer.

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