Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) is a farmers organisation which unites small-scale farmers in order to have a common voice in defence economic, social, cultural and political interests of small-scale farmers. It is the acronym for the National Network of Small-Scale Farmers Groups in Tanzania.
Founded in 1993, MVIWATA aspires to empower small-scale economically and socially farmers through capacity building and undertake lobbying and advocacy especially by strengthening their groups and networks, facilitating communication and learning so that they are capable of defending their interests.
MVIWATA was founded by 22 innovative farmers from Morogoro, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Rukwa and Dodoma regions for the purpose of creating a farmer-to-farmer exchange forum. Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) through its Strengthening Communication Project (SUA-SCOM) guided the initial process in the formation of MVIWATA.
It was registered in 1995 under the Society Ordinance Act (Reg. no. SO 8612), in 2000 as the Trust Fund. In 2007 MVIWATA received a compliance certificate under the NGO Act of 2002 (Reg. no 1930). The national office of MVIWATA is situated in Morogoro town.
The slogan of MVIWATA is Mtetezi wa Mkulima ni Mkulima Mwenyewe literally means the defender of the farmer is the farmer.
Our Goal: To unite small holder farmers (including all small producers whose livelihood depend on land such as pastoralists and fisher folk) in order to defend their interests and address the challenges of farmers with one voice.
To strengthen farmers’ groups and networks, facilitate communication and learning through media to raise voices of voiceless and exchange visits among farmers for the purpose of defending the interests of small scale farmers.
To become a strong farmers’ organisation that will guarantee small-scale farmers’ participation and representation in socio-economic and policy dialogue process at various levels through learning, initiating, implementing and monitoring social and economic development processes.
- To facilitate communication among small scale farmers in order to build collective strategies for defending farmers interests
- To facilitate exchange of knowledge, experiences and ideas on farming and activities which aim at improving the livelihood of farmers.
- To represent small holder farmers in matters and decision making bodies of interest to smallholder farmers.
MVIWATA was formed to address challenges facing small-scale farmers such as lack of a strong organisation in the country, exclusion of small-scale farmers from decision making process and decision making organs on matters that touch their welfare, unreliable markets of agricultural produce and lack of access to financial services. To address these challenges, MVIWATA has been implementing various interventions focusing on lobbying and advocacy and economic empowerment of small-scale farmers. These interventions are based on the five years Strategic Plan of MVIWATA (2010 – 2014).
The main strategies of MVIWATA are the following;
- Capacity building of small-scale farmers on lobbying and advocacy through training and self organisation in groups and networks under one umbrella so as to influence decisions
2. Economic empowerment of small scale farmers through creation of projects such as savings and credit, cereal banks, rural tourism and other rural enterprises.
3. Affiliation with national and international networks and organisations for lobbying and advocacy purposes. Currently, MVIWATA is a founder member of Tanzania Land Alliance (TALA), Tanzania CSOs Trade Coalition (TCTC), Eastern and Southern African Farmers Forum (ESAFF), Eastern African Farmers Federation (EAFF) and International Peasants Movement (La Via Campesina).