Voices from the field: Hadija, Tanzania

Farmer Hadija, Tanzania

Hadija is a farmer and mother of five children who lives in Rundugai village in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Region after being forced to relocate her there in 1975 due to drought.

When she arrived in Rundugai from her homeland in the Pare highlands, she began farming maize and beans on her small plot of land. On the advice of her sister-in-law, she soon started focusing on tomatoes, which enabled her to generate more income and build the home that she shares with her three daughters, two sons and their wives. She expects a strong tomato harvest again this year.

Many small-scale farmers in Hadija’s village are forced to sell their crops to consumers for extremely low prices because they have access to only local markets. Despite this, by growing and selling tomatoes, Hadija has also been able to join a women’s saving group, paying her contributions without any problem. She hopes that more women will join as she is eager to teach and work with them.

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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