I departed Arusha as the sun came up, driving along the rough road south from the city. As we left the urban sprawl behind the landscape changed from relatively green with many large trees to huge expanses of seemingly empty arid savannah, with many acacia trees. This land of mine hasn’t seen rain for some months now. The drive was long and dusty, but we finally arrived at Orksurnet town in Simanjiro district, home to 175,000 people, mainly Maasai. Transport in this large district remains unreliable for these communities, who are spread out and make a very basic living from cattle. Their lives have been made more difficult by the changing weather patterns with many cattle dying over recent years. Food insecurity has been and still is a big issue.
Through my role as VECO agribusiness advisor, I have contributed to providing far-reaching support to 3,000 farmers in this district, of which I am very proud. A number of different interventions gradually contribute towards more food security in the area. There are two aspects to this: crop management and harvesting on the one hand, and storage and market access on the other.