Can organic farming be an alternative to improve well-being of smallholder farmers in disadvantaged areas? a case study of Morogoro region, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


This research was done to assess contribution of organic farming on improving well-being of smallholder farmers through crop productivity, profit and food security among 324 smallholder farmers in Morogoro Region, Tanzania. The specific objectives were to: examine how farmers implement organic farming practices and sell their products; compare productivity, profit and food security between conventional/traditional farmers and organic farmers; determine factors affecting productivity, profit and food security; determine challenges of organic farming; and determine communities’ attitude towards organic products. The results showed that organic farmers had diversified crops and availability of water for irrigation, and they had better selling situation of their crop products. Productivity of maize, cow peas and pumpkins did not show significant differences between organic and conventional/traditional farmers, but profit and food security did. Food security was analysed using food consumption score and dietary energy consumed by organic farmers and showed significantly better results compared to that of conventional/traditional farmers. The factors which influenced productivity significantly were sex of a household head, number of people in a household, constant markets and livestock keeping. Years of practicing organic farming showed significant association with profit, and livestock keeping and age of a household head had significant impacts on food security. It was revealed that there were challenges of land preparation, markets, getting premium price, and contamination with other farms. Customers of a normal market place had similar attitude to that of customers of an organic shop. In conclusion, organic farming has a potential to improve well-being of smallholder farmers in disadvantaged areas especially from the aspects of profit and food security. Therefore, it is recommended that more emphasis should be put on promotion of organic farming by agricultural stakeholders such as the government, agricultural institutions, development institutions and organic farming organizations.



smallholder farmers, disadvantaged areas, food security, organic farming, Morogoro, Tanzania