Tanzania: Zanzibar’s producers get trained in accounting

As part of COLEAD’s Fit For Market SPS programme, a training on “Bookkeeping and Cost-Benefit Calculations” was organised for Zanzibar Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (UWAMWIMA) in October 2022, at their premises on Zanzibar Island. UWAMWIMA is an association of smallholder producers from the horticultural sector in Zanzibar. The association was established in 2004 and counts over 2,000 smallholder producers as members. The smallholder producers are involved in the production of watermelon, tomatoes, pineapple, okra, papaya, cucumber, eggplant, green pepper, passion fruit, banana and sweet potatoes for the local and export markets. Most of the production is carried out in an ecologically sustainable way, by implementing the principles of organic agriculture.

The training aimed to build capacity of UWAMWIMA’s extension staff for bookkeeping, cost/benefit and cashflow-related calculations for the production of vegetables at producer level, and aimed to show how farmers can be assisted to budget for the various activities in the vegetable production cycle. To increase farmers’ level of professionalism, a budgeting and planning exercise was set up using simple tools that are understandable and relevant to their daily activities.

At the end of the training, the participants are able to:

  • identify production-related expenditures (by type and nature) and revenues of vegetable crops for an average smallholder producer;
  • recognise the largest expenditure items for the average producer and identify at which point in the production cycle these large expenditures occur;
  • ascertain associated cash flows and be able to distinguish cash flows from profitability;
  • monitor production expenses, revenues and income (expenses/income booklet) for an average smallholder producer;
  • calculate key business performance indicators such as yield, turnover, gross margin, net margin, net profit or loss, rejection rates, total unit cost, variable unit cost, fixed unit cost, costs covered by the smallholder producer and costs covered by the company, to create simplified cash flow statements; and
  • become familiar with the methodology to be used in delivering training sessions to a group of producers, including for the production of training resources.

This activity is supported by the Fit For Market SPS programme, implemented by COLEAD within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union.