Participatory evaluation of Heifer Intrust Project in Mbinga Diocese : a case study of farmers' groups of Mbinga and Tingi Denaries of Mbinga Diocese in Mbinga District, Ruvuma Region, Tanzania

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Southern New Hampshire University
This study was conducted in Mbinga and Tingi deaneries of Mbinga Diocese in Mbinga District, Ruvuma region. The study was conducted in five villages namely Kilimani, Mhekela, Tukuzi, Burma and Mateka. The main objective of the study was to evaluate the efficiency; effectiveness and sustainability of Heifer Intrust Project in Mbinga Diocese. The specific objectives were to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the project; economic contribution of the project to both men and women involved; to examine smallholder farmers' perception to the project and to identify the evolvement of gender roles, responsibilities and ownership in sustainable development of Heifer Intrust Project. The study comprised a random sample of 50 project farmers, 25 non-project farmers and 17 key informants. Thus involved 92 respondents, (23 women and 69 men). Primary data were obtained through personal observation, administering of structured questionnaire and focus group discussion. Secondary data was obtained from diocese office, district agriculture/livestock office, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)/Open University of, Tanzania (OUT) library as well as Sokoine National Agriculture Library (SNAL). Descriptive statistics as frequencies and percentage were used in analysis. The results from this study showed that an introduction of improved dairy cattle through Heifer In trust Project (HIP) not only have positive impact on incomes of households and food security but have also social and environmental impact. Livestock play diverse economic and social roles in the economy of household in the study area. They produce milk for subsistence, supply manure for cropping and sales of livestock and milk provide farmers with cash to purchase household necessities and farm inputs. The Project, increased material assets and financial ability to meet various social services after the introduction of improved diary cattle. As far as gender roles and responsibilities in HIP are concerned, there is a clear division of labour, access and control of resources in study villages. Farmers' accept HIP as a beneficial project to them and the components of the project has great influence and contribute significantly on poverty reduction process. The major conclusion is that the project has contributed a lot to poverty alleviation in the study area and is sustainable. Therefore, it is recommended that similar development projects be promoted in other villages but attempts should be made to make sure that they target poor strata, especially women. The major constraints to the implementation of HIP were found to be high input prices, low priced produce, lack of credit facilities, shortage of extension services and unreliable input supply. The study identifies several possible research areas. It is therefore recommended that, further research include more focused studies in connection with labour demand by season and division of labour by gender as well as assessment of demand and marketing system for diary products. (Author abstract)