Development Company (HDC) Ltd would appreciate getting in touch with
individuals or organisations wanting to support one or more of the HDC
activities or becoming partners.
E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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It started sometimes before Christmas 2005.
Josephine, one of the many “local brew widows” and mother of five
daughters, came to my house at Mulbadaw begging food for herself and for her
children. Her husband, like so many
other male victims of hopelessness, spent more time with his fellow drink mates
than with the family. He took the
few kilos of maize that was left from last harvest and exchanged it with local
brew. Two of her daughters were sent
home to her mother, the three others remaining in her mud hut, roof only half
thatched. The approaching rainy
season would certainly not make life easier for the family.
Josephine is one of a few hundred mothers living on or near the Mulbadaw
Wheat Farm, bought by Haydom Development Company Ltd on 11th February
2005. Some of the families lived
with their cows in the area before the land was cleared and planted with wheat
thirty years ago. Many came and
settled in search of labour. Josephine’s
husband was one of these. His
resource was his hands; he did not come with cattle.
When the wheat production collapsed late nineties, the very foundation of
their lives collapsed. Thousands of
people benefited from the 50 000 tonnes of wheat once rolling out of the
area. Can anyone imagine the
dimension of the tragedies that the collapse caused to the families?
Josephine lives a few meters outside the farm.
One day in January 2006, together with my adviser and colleague Bernard
Majanga, we met her. She invited us into her house, to witness the conditions
she lives under. Her malnourished
children were staying there alone during the day when Josephine was out trying
to find something to feed the family with. The
small family had stayed without food for two days this day in January.
There was no door in the house; - the hyena could enter any time at night.
Charity would be possible, but not a solution. There are hundreds more “Josephines” at our door steps. We took a trip along the border of the farm and got confirmed what we already knew.
In 2006 we spent time every Tuesday afternoon from January to June with
our neighbours; - “we” in this context are employees of Haydom Development
Company Ltd and neighbours. We were searching for solution instead of dependence
of charity. Together with the leaders of the communities along the border a
joint venture was established. This
joint venture was to provide food security for the families that opted for
participation. The families provided
much needed hands for the production on the
Farmers and HDC had a common interest in a good crop on the farm.
HDC Ltd and neighbours became “shareholders”; sharing the yield of
wheat. Neighbours that before often were chased away from the farm, as
trespassers with or without cattle, became colleagues in farming, - all of us
having a common interest in protecting the crop from fire, theft and grazing.
A group of five families contributed labour equivalent to 10 months of
work received wheat worth more than the annual salary of an employee.
The “joint venture” was an exercise in partnership and joint
ownership to the crop.
It was designed to be developed further into “savings and credit
societies”; providing micro finance for financing inputs for small enterprises
in farming or other income generating activities.
Would it be possible one day also to invest the resources in company
shares rather than in cattle causing overgrazing and erosion?
Would some of the neighbours like to invest in company shares instead of
in local cattle causing overgrazing and soil erosion; qualify to become elected
members of the Board of Directors for Haydom Development Company Ltd?
the unilateral physical takeover on 12th August 2006 by the Norwegian
entity “Friends of Haydom” in
collaboration with the Norwegian management of Haydom Lutheran Hospital in
Tanzania caused an abrupt halt to
the this development. This entity is
not registered in Tanzania as legal owners of farming enterprises; Haydom
Development Company Ltd was established on the initiative of the late Dr Ole
Halgrim Evjen Olsen to own and run the Mulbadaw Farm, as the only feasible legal
option for the Lutheran Hospital to engage and expand the activities of rural
development and commercial food production.
Text and pictures Halvdan Jakobsen.
Text and pictures Halvdan Jakobsen.