Name ID 1508
Extract Author: Daniel Benno Msangya, Dar es Salaam
Page Number: 05
Extract Date: 1969
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In 1969 the Ministry of Agriculture also established a vineyard state farm of 126 acres adjacent to Vineyard Research and Training Centre VRTC at Makutupora. The vineyard produced grapes for selling and revenue accrued taken by the Treasury.
The Vineyard State Farm was later given to the Dodoma District Development Corporation (DODIDECO). The corporation produced 31,280 litres of red wine in the first year.
The production raised up to 1.2 million litres in 1986 when another smaller winery called Capital General Manufactures reflected the grapes purchases vis-a-vis wine production before the two major factories were closed down.
During the villagisation period (1970-1976), villages were stimulated and urged by government authorities to establish both communal and individual vineyards. This was the only period of steady expansion of vineyards in Dodoma region, both rural and urban.
The era witnessed the villages competing on production and growing of the grapes while becoming economically stronger to the extent of buying village buses, trucks, tractors and moving into decent houses from tembe, a local hut with a thatched roof, and accumulating wealth on communal basis.
Individual farmers with vineyards also had their living standards raised including Magge Matonya's family.
Reverend Father Gaula, the Vicar General of Dodoma Diocese and Rector of Bihawana Seminary, currently the main grower of grapes and producer of red wine maintains the standard of production. He points out that the early success of this crop in Dodoma "was mainly an outcome of intense efforts by religious institutions".
In his brief observation, Gaula focuses back to a period of some 30 years: Between early 1960s and the late 1980s when grape farming in Dodoma was steadily becoming a dependable cash crop to the peasants.
"Grape farmers were indeed making money at that period but today the acreage has dropped down," Gaula noted.