GFAR blog

YAP proposal #338: An Elders’ Permaculture Garden (Elitumaini R Magnus, Tanzania)

IMG_20150926_122735My name is Elitumaini R Magnus. I am a young man from Tanzania, just graduated from the college with Bachelor of Education in languages and management. I am interested in organic farming, as I believe it is the only solution for some of the world’s problems, like climate change, the food crisis, and killing diseases like cancer.

My idea is to start an elders’ permaculture garden in Karatu that will be an old people’s paradise, where we will help old people get nutritious food for better health. And it will be a home for elderly people without dependents.

We will enable them to participate in this food production and promote their economy and the nation’s economy at large. It will also provide organic farming practical training for elderly people and the surrounding community, with a model of environmental protection.

Elderly people are among the poorest in my society. They face many challenges including sickness, lack of nutrition, poverty, and chronic alcoholism. Many of them seem to live a hopeless life. Despite the skills and experience they have as farmers, breeders, and fishermen, there are no provisions to enable them to continue contributing to the development of the country.

Starting this sustainable garden for elders would help them participate in national economic growth, indirectly as well as directly, while reducing dependence on families and state.

Most of the elders in Tanzania live in rural areas, while young people who can help are moving to urban areas, and the families, which are basic institutions to take care of elderly people, are struggling with poverty.

Project description

An elders’ permaculture garden is a project that intends to create an environment for old people to grow their own food organically with the help of young people.

It will also provide organic farming practical training to elders who have dependents; encourage and help them to grow their own food. It will also allow the community to participate in taking care of old people by inviting friends to join in the farming activities at the garden.

To implement this project we have already requested ten public acres of land a few kilometers outside of the village. We believe the grant of USD 5,000 will help put this idea into practice.


  • Building inexpensive tropical housing for elders, USD 1,500. The project will start with seven elders, and these numbers will be increased as the project grows, dependent on resource availability.
  • Drilling a bore hole in the area would cost approximately USD 2,000
  • Buying mattresses (we will make beds from available local materials.) USD 400
  • Food budget for the first three months, USD 300. After that, our own produced food will be ready.
  • Designing garden and purchasing of seeds, USD 200. Most of the work will be done by hand.
  • Building a simple chicken coop, USD 140
  • Purchasing baskets, pots, pans, and basic cooking utensils UDS 60
  • Buying a generator ‘Kingmax inch3’ (for water pumping) and fuel budget for the first three months, USD 250.
  • Buying few chicken to start with, USD 50.
  • Costs for project registration and registration fee, USD 100.

The elderly are important treasures; their experience in different things can help us move forward and their knowledge of history can help us build a strong community. We believe that this Elders’ Garden will bring positive changes in our society.


Blogpost and picture submitted by Elitumaini Rweyemam (Tanzania): relitumaini[at]

The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #338 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:

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Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!

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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

10 thoughts on “YAP proposal #338: An Elders’ Permaculture Garden (Elitumaini R Magnus, Tanzania)”

  1. This project will make an enormous contribution to a community that can not only use the food that is produced but can benefit from the new knowledge that is brought to not only the elders but the surrounding people who will help to sustain it. What a thoughtful enterprise. I know the grant seeker here, Elitumaini and find him to be a deeply thoughtful, self motivated person who seeks to strengthen people and community around him. Applause for the conception and hopeful completion of this project.

  2. What a wonderful project! I hope you get your funding. Elders have lived long and have wisdom to share. They deserve good nutrition, a loving community, and a purposeful life.

  3. Good project Elitumaini !
    We’ve done something similar in an urban permaculture project in Madagascar and it really helps Elders.
    Instead of them being a burden for society, they can contribute in production through simple and energy efficient activities.
    Keep moving …

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