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24306798441_0de8659c97_zOn Sunday January 10th 60,000 seeds left Costa Rica traveling over 13,000 km via five flights to arrived in the place their parent material comes from – Kigoma. The seeds were pre-germinated in Costa Rica, meaning that when in-transit they were alive and growing, making a long journey through the many airports a high-stakes game. The seeds can last in their travel packaging for several days, but one delayed flight or one missed connection or one incomplete shipping document can be a game-ender.

The seeds arrived safely in Dar es Salaam but their journey was not yet over, they now had to    clear the toughest hurdle, pass the scrutiny of the Tanzanian Customs Department and Ministry for Agriculture. This in itself is quite a feat; live seed importation is not yet a commonplace activity at the Dar es Salaam airport.

With a lot of paperwork and some phone calls, the seeds were cleared for entry and quickly sent to Kigoma. Awaiting them were the 36 women we’d recruited to help get the seeds into their new home quickly but carefully. The seeds are very delicate with a 0.1cm root and a small shoot already growing, so gentle planting is the last hurdle of the seed importation game.

24363026746_5bf8105b75_zThe team of women did an amazing job and we are already starting to see the first signs of growth coming up from the soil. The seeds will remain in our nursery for 12 months, where each individual seed will be carefully looked after – after all they are worth a lot… purchased for $1 each, over it’s 30 year lifetime, each seed creates $720 of value! Talk about a great investment.

 

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