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How one Tanzanian farmer's investment in a tractor benefited the whole village

21 February 2023

How one Tanzanian farmer's investment in a tractor benefited the whole village

Farmers in Tanzania work in difficult conditions, where their crops are very vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. A lack of finance and poor access to modern technologies also hold many farmers back from being able to progress from subsistence farming to earning a good income from farming.

That didn’t stop Augustine Gabriel Tarmo, a 52-year-old sunflower farmer who is part of Farm Africa’s Flourishing Futures project, funded by The Agricultural Markets Development Trust (AMDT), in Mwinkasi village in the Manyara region of Tanzania, who managed to improve the livelihoods of 150 other sunflower farmers by securing a loan for a tractor.

Taking out a large loan from NBC Bank of 41,000,000 Tanzanian Shillings (TZS), worth £12,300 for the tractor, Mr Tarmo showed his entrepreneurial skills by offering ploughing services to the other sunflower farmers in his village.

Mr Tarmo ploughing a field on his tractor

Word travels fast in Mwinkasi and before long, 150 sunflower farmers were eagerly awaiting Augustine and his tractor.

Charging 70,000 TZS (£21) per acre, he managed to plough a staggering 525 acres belonging to other farmers this sunflower season.

He said, ‘it had never been efficient to cultivate even three acres using a hand hoe and every season I delayed planting because there were so few tractors and they weren’t accessible to most farmers in my village.’

Augustine therefore took matters into his own hands by buying the new tractor and it has paid off for everyone.

I am very happy; this is a dream come true.

He has already made back 90% of his money with his services to other farmers, without even including the profits from the 65 acres of his own land that he was able to cultivate in a much more effective way than before.

In Mwinkasi village, production saw a huge boost and the total harvest for the 2022/23 season is expected to be a record high.

His investment has turned out to be a shrewd business decision and has made a huge difference to the livelihoods of everyone in the village.

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