Hamisi Rajabu is a farmer in Valeska village, located in the Arumeru District of the Arusha Region in northern Tanzania. He is a father of three who has been farming vegetables for more than twenty years. He also grows maize, beans and sunflowers, but prefers vegetables because they are quicker to reach maturity and generate income. Certain vegetables only take twenty days from planting to harvesting.
Through his small farm, Hamisi has been able to pay a dowry for marriage, build a house and pay school fees for his children.
However, this small-scale farmer has been facing several challenges lately. One is a shortage of rainfall, while another is whether he should continue to use fertilizers and pesticides on his crops. Hamisi says that extension officers encourage the use of organic manure, but he doesn’t know enough about it yet.
There’s also the challenge of low demand and price. Hamisi cannot sell vegetables for a good return at local markets, so he has decided to form a group with thirty other farmers to gain access to bigger markets and increase profit in the future.