Voices from the field: Vicky Mwanga, Tanzania
When a drought affected the supply of fish, Vicky Mwanga decided she needed to close her fish business. The 42-year-old mother of three took up onion farming, but it has not been an easy transition.
A poor batch of seed meant her first harvest of onions was badly affected by disease. Capital is also a challenge for Vicky, who wants her business to grow. For some work she needs to hire help, but that costs money. Yet the main problem is pests.
“[A]fter my neighbour harvested, all the pests moved to my farm and it is affected now. Because the pesticides I was using were not strong enough to overcome the pests, I had to change pesticides,” she said.
Vicky turned to her neighbour for advice on how to get rid of the pests. “We don’t wait for agricultural officers or extensions officers to come and visit the farms, so we work ourselves, farmer with farmers through experiences,” she explained.
Advice from farmers has been shared over the radio as part of the Tanzania Household Resilience Project, made possible by our partners World Vision and the government of Tanzania. World Vision has helped Vicky access credit and Moshi FM’s farm radio show has given her the agricultural information she needs, including tips from fellow farmers.
The result has been better harvests for Vicky, as onion farming has changed her life.
“To be honest I suppose to thank God. I have done many things through onions. For example all my three children are in private schools, the school fees and all needs come from onions. I have built two houses, which can enable to me to get credit or loan of almost ten millions shillings. I can get loans through that house. Onions has changed my life,” Vicky said.
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