The garden is situated in Maji ya Chai village in a rural area of the Arumeru district, Arusha region, in Northern Tanzania. It was launched in 2010 and is roughly 0.5 acres in size. The garden is found in the TRMEGA center. TRMEGA is an association that raise awareness, especially among vulnerable and marginalized people, on the importance of a balanced diet, since most people eat too many carbohydrates and starch (maize, soya and millet) since they are cheaper than other foods.
The 22 people (19 women and 5 men) involved in the project are all HIV positive and work through organic farming to cultivate several varieties of amaranth, sweet potatoes, cowpeas, beans, black nightshade, okra, sugar cane, moringa, watercress (they used to grow along the rivers but now they are disappearing due to rivers digging) and yams. They also cultivate fruit trees: guava, pawpaw, sugarcane and passion fruit, as well as medicinal and aromatic plants such as artemisia, rosemary, basil, rosella, lemon tea grass, neem, African marigold, wild sunflower, plumeria and aloe vera. They reproduce their own seeds in small seedbeds and to fertilize the soil they apply green compost. The Maja Ya Chai garden is used as a model, as an educational tool to create new agroecological gardens.
Maji ya Chai village, Arumeru district, Arusha region
Helen Tibandebage Nguya