Mbuyuni Farm Retreat

The Kimango Farms – Mbuyuni Farm and Wami River Farm

Kimango Farm Enterprises Ltd. operates two farms, Mbuyuni Farm close to the town of Morogoro, and Wami River Farm on the Mkata Plains about one hour from Morogoro.

Both farms have been organically certified since they were established and our certifying body is the Institute of Market Ecology (IMO) in Switzerland. The IMO inspects the farms every year and our certification is in accordance with European Union and Swiss regulations.

Mbuyuni Farm and the Ulugurus in the rainy season.

Mbuyuni Farm and the Ulugurus in the rainy season.

We produce and process about 25.000 kg of herbal teas and spices annually and export most of it to Germany, Italy and Switzerland.  A small quantity is sold locally under the “African Infusions” label.  We also  grow smaller quantities of pulses, onions and cover crops and over the years have planted more than 30.000 trees on Mbuyuni Farm, indigenous as well as agroforestry species.

We employ 30 to 80 local staff, depending on the season. Our core team has been working with us for more than ten years. For most of our permanent staff we provide housing on the farm and the rest live in the nearby villages.

With an average annual rainfall of 600-700 mm, our production largely depends on irrigation, either with overhead sprinkle irrigation or drip irrigation. Both farms border rivers and have sufficient water rights.

Mbuyuni Farm

This farm is named after the many Baobab trees on the land (see “The Baobab Story”). When we started developing Mbuyuni Farm in 1992 the bushland was covered by sparse secondary vegetation after many years of charcoal making.

Chilis under irrigation on Mbuyuni Farm.

Chilis under irrigation on Mbuyuni Farm.

We prepared the land for cultivation, but left about 40% of the total area for regrowth of the natural bush and for reforestation. In 1997 we built a house on the farm and all of our processing and workshop facilities are also at this location.

Mbuyuni Farm covers 350 hectares of which approximately 150 ha are under cultivation and we use the remainder for agroforestry and ecological reserves. Our main crops are chili, lemongrass and hibiscus, but we also produce smaller quantities of Neem leaves and pulses. Cover crops such as dolichos lablab are used in our crop rotation. We are constantly doing trials with new potential cash crops, such as white onions, rice and mung beans this year.
Mbuyuni Farm borders the Ngerengere River which is also the main water supply for Morogoro Town. Due to the increased use of water from a rapidly growing population, and in recent years some industrial waste entering the river, it has become a less reliable water source for the farm. We have therefore constructed large water reservoirs for our domestic use  and irrigation.
Aerial view of some fields and buildings on Mbuyuni Farm.

Aerial view of some fields and buildings on Mbuyuni Farm.

Wami River Farm

We bought the land on the Mkata Plains in 2002 and started developing it one year later. The farm borders the Wami River and most of it floods regularly. The soil is very fertile, but the floods can also cause havoc and need to be controlled in the future to avoid crop losses.

Wami River Farm comprises 250 hectares and an additional 800 hectares have been allocated to Kimango Farms Ltd. by the Mvomero District Land Allocation Committee.

The Mkata Plains are covered by wooded grassland and along Wami River, the riverine forest is partly intact.  There is still considerable wildlife in the area, but it’s coming under increasing pressure from poaching and loss of habitat due to charcoal making.

Chilis, paprika and lemongrass grow well on the prevailing black cotton soils near Wami River and we start planting after the rains and floods in April/May and have to irrigate our crops  until we harvest.

Preparing fields on Wami River Farm.

Preparing fields on Wami River Farm.