Janet Maro and Alexander Wostry from Tanzania 
OWA Winners 2021

Janet Maro and Alexander Wostry from Tanzania with their love story are the founders of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT). Alex came as a volunteer from Austria to Tanzania and met Janet, who was an agricultural student. Falling in love was fueled by their common dream to create sustainable livelihoods for farming families based on organic agriculture. Inspired by the farmer field school concept and participatory strategies they listened first to and learned from farmers, which led 10 years ago to the foundation of SAT. It all started with 200 $, a tiny shed and the Garden of Solidarity. It is impossible to mention all the projects SAT has already realized with its very dedicated team of 85 staff.


The demonstration gardens at the headquarter in Morogoro and the new farm and training center are the core of SAT. Already 5,000 people from Tanzania and all over the world have been trained there. The center is also the hub for creating market opportunities. Starting with a beautiful organic shop, they have developed a significant market for certified organic products. Evaluations show that organic farmers could increase their income up to 30 %. Another indicator of success is that 95 % of the established farmer groups remain active after the initial support has ended. Instrumental for the farmers is a monthly published magazine, which reaches out to 90,000 farmers in East Africa and is co-published with the Biovision Foundation of OWA 2014 Winner Hans Herren.

A most impressive project is the mediation of land use conflicts between farmers and Massai pastoralists that had led to violent clashes in the past. SAT created a win-win constellation where the farmers exchange hay bales for animal manure from the the pastoralists. Thus, former enemies became peaceful business partners.

With their enormously successful projects SAT has become an authority and an inspiration for policy makers in their country and other African countries and beyond. Janet and Alex were able to change the curriculum of all Tanzania Agriculture Training Institutes so that nowadays every year 5.000 students study a complete module about organic agriculture. The organic Advocates are as well present at UNO & FAO events to share their success stories from the field.

Certainly, also motivated by their three children they work tirelessly and possibly more successfully than any other organic project in Africa. Their couple power with soul and soil spirit is a best-case example how we can (and must) live the change the world needs to make.