Voices from the field: Husna, Tanzania

Farmer Husna, Tanzania

Husna lives in Rundugai village, located in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. She is a widow. Her husband passed away four years ago, leaving her as the sole breadwinner for her family.

She has four children. One is working away from home in the Singida Region, one is  married, one has just completed her form four and has a chance to join accounting college, and the last one is in form three.

Husna started farming after moving from her home village to get married. Farming was the family’s sole source of income, and she farmed alongside her husband to provide for her children.  Husna says, “To me, it is good for a woman to work together with her husband to increase the production at the family level, rather than waiting for a husband to bring needs for you at home.”

She identifies lack of fertilizer as a challenge as a small-scale farmer, remarking that “if the government can help us by reducing the price of it, we will be better. I depend from this farm only for food and other needs.”

Despite this and other challenges, Husna has provided for her family by farming. “Through farming I was able to make soil bricks, buy iron sheets, and rent a builder to build a house where we are living with my family. It  is through that I managed to pay school fees for my children.” Currently, she is also supporting grandchildren who live with her, making sure they get enough to eat and go to school.

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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