Voices from the field: Benedetha, Tanzania

Benadetha Mmaravi is a teacher and farmer from Msijute village in the Mtwara Region of southern Tanzania. Valuing education, she is working hard in both of these roles to pay school fees for her five children, not being able to rely on her husband’s income now that he is retired from government service or on her small teaching salary alone.

She grows crops such as pigeon peas, maize, groundnuts (peanuts), beans and cassava. With a higher market value than her other crops,  groundnuts are key to her efforts to provide for her family. She said that she likes cassava and thinks it has great potential, but has little experience growing it.

As Farm Radio Radio International Media Liaison Officer Esther Mwangabula interviewed her about life as a farmer, Benedetha had her radio at her side. She told Esther, “I like listening to the radio, especially Pride FM. It’s my favourite station.”

During their conversation, Benedetha tuned into a farming program in Swahili called Muhogo ni Mkombozi (meaning Cassava and Survival), which she hopes will help to expand her cassava production.

Farm Radio International is working with Pride FM on this entertaining and educational radio program on the cassava value chain to help farmers like Benadetha increase their livelihoods by cultivating cassava. Pride FM is producing and broadcasting participatory radio campaigns that raise the knowledge and skills of farmers related to improved cassava production and management.

To learn more about this project, generously funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, see the project page.

About the author
Esther Mwangabula is an agricultural journalist who works closely with small-scale farmers in rural Tanzania.  She started working with Farm Radio International in 2008 as a liaison officer for five radio stations as part of the African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI). Since then, Esther has been supporting FRI’s work in various capacities, including as a mentor for broadcasters in Tanzania. Currently she works as a media and broadcaster liaison officer, working to interview farmers and engage and expand broadcasting partners.

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