With the now pressing heat, it seems like ages have passed since the long rains finally stopped – and what rains those were! Every day seemed to bring more water, more water than seemed possible – roads turned to rivers, swamps appeared where there were previously none and bridges were washed away, cutting off all […]
This morning Kipi, one of Darakuta’s herdsmen, came across a peculiar turtle. He took a picture and showed it to Michele Menegon ((Museo delle Scienze, Italy), one of the researchers currently at Darakuta. Michele suddenly got really excited – turns out the tortoise was none other than a pancake tortoise!
Darakuta’s multi-use system, where ranching, wildlife and farming co-exist side-by-side, requires careful monitoring to allow proper management. Working together with PAMS Foundation affiliated researchers, we are performing a basic species inventory of Darakuta that will help us gain a better understanding of the species that already call Darakuta home. This in turn will enable better […]
The Darakuta Group encompasses two companies - the parent company Darakuta Ranch, and its daughter company Darakuta Hydropower, which was founded in the year 2000.
Darakuta lies nestled at the foot of the Rift Valley wall, about 20 km from Magugu town, and 160 km from Arusha City.
The Ranch has a total size of 17,000 acres, of which 120 acres are used as agricultural land. Although Darakuta would have a potential of a 300 acres arable land, our water resources limit this to about 150 acres. The main agricultural crop on Darakuta is sugarcane, which we sell to the local Manyara sugar factory. Our secondary crop are bananas, of which we grow several different local types and are sold to local markets in the area. In addition to sugarcane and bananas, Darakuta also produces Eucalyptus and Grevillea that is used for construction within Darakuta (e.g. for powerline poles).
The large majority of Darakuta is dominated by hilly topography and red loamy sand soils that have thin organic layers and low nutrient levels. These are problematic to cultivate due to their low water holding capacity, and high sensitivity to leaching and erosion. For this reason, Darakuta Ranch uses holistic and rotational grazing that have a low impact on the environment and allow coexistence with wildlife species.