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Subsistence into commercial agriculture in Mto wa Mbu


Hey everyone, I am in Mto w Mbu, Tanzania and
I’m on a tour of a local banana plantation, or a banana farm actually.
This is a great example of subsistence agriculture and what I wanted to show
you was a few images here of the way people live in subsistence agricultural
communities. And this is a temporary house that someone’s built it’s gonna be
their home for a while and I wanted to point out a few other things about what
subsistence agriculture really means, which is that you don’t really have a
lot of money to spend on things like housing. So this house behind me, you can see, there’s a few things that you’d have to buy, like the metal sheeting on the
roof and maybe the locks on the doors, and the boards for the doors. But
otherwise the material has–entirely gathered. It’s sticks and mud that people have been gathering and putting together and they’re still working on the house but
they’re living here while they’re trying to survive and save money. Like a lot of
other subsistence agricultural activities, this case is one where the
farmer is working to try and move out of subsistence agriculture by saving some
money and eventually building a house by growing bananas; that’s not a terrible
way to make money. And so what I want to show you just on the other side here is
a more permanent house that’s being built. And…that’s the stone house
or the brick house behind me being put up and Mto wa Mbu has massive banana
fields they grow a lot of other crops here as well. But by making enough
bananas a farmer is able to…making enough!… GROWING enough bananas a farmer is able
to eventually save a little bit of their harvest and sell it and move towards
commercial agriculture instead of just subsisting. So bananas are a popular
way to try and get some extra income not just subsisting, and eventually move out of
a place like this and start building a place like that. That’s all I wanted to
show you, it’s just a really quick tour of a banana farm in Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania.

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