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Hussein's Story

Hussein lives with his wife Angela and their three children, Florence, Adorati and Brighton, in Msolwa village in the Kilosa district of Tanzania.

Conditions for a farmer are tough in Msolwa village, despite the lush and fertile conditions that are ideal for farming. Because they are so poor, farmers are forced to sell their crops to middlemen who come to the village to take crops to sell in Dar es Salaam. The deals they make with these traders are sometimes unfair – traders might only pay on their return journey to the village a month later for example.

Even worse, bad flooding last year meant these middlemen didn’t come to the village at all, and the farmers had no-one to sell to.

Sometimes farmers will manage to pool enough money to make the journey to Dar es Salaam themselves, but usually they do not have enough money. The money Hussein got from selling his crops last harvest was not enough to cover school costs for his children and he was forced to do carpentry work in the village to boost the family finances.

The family only own one acre of land, and they rent two more acres.

“If I had more money to invest”, Hussein says, “I would increase the size of my farm and farm more effectively. I would invest in buying more land, as it is expensive to always be renting.”

Hussein is excited to start learning about planting orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. He hopes the project will help him to be sure of the market value of his crops, and to learn better farming methods to improve his yields.

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