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Top prize for Farm Africa at Tanzania farmers show

14 August 2013

Top prize for Farm Africa at Tanzania farmers show

Photo: Happy Farm Africa farmers celebrate their victory

Farm Africa is overjoyed to have won the top prize at the Nane Nane agricultural show in Arusha, Tanzania. Held between 1 and 8 August, the annual show features over 300 exhibitors such as government ministries, non-government organizations and large and small-scale agricultural businesses exhibiting their products and services.

Taking part in this year's show were nine farmers from Farm Africa’s sesame marketing and forest management projects in Tanzania. The trophy for the top exhibitor being awarded to Farm Africa in recognition of its achievements in training these and many thousands of other farmers in improved farming methods and thus transforming their livelihoods.

Constantine Martin, a sesame farmer from Babati, was among the Farm Africa trained farmers at this year’s show. He was exhibiting his simple idea for planting sesame seeds. Having attended seed multiplication training from Farm Africa, Constantine was then inspired to develop a tool which would improve his sesame seed planting.

“I had an opportunity to attend Farm Africa training in sesame seed planting and the knowledge I gained was really useful. However, on my way home after the training, I was thinking more and more about how I can build on the training to simplify the planting process,” said Constantine.

As a result, he came up with the “Costa Planter”, a tool which cleverly distributes sesame seeds at a more rapid and even pace than sowing them by hand. It now means that he can sow a hectare of sesame seeds in around an hour and a half instead of the six hours it took by hand. Also, it has led to increased yields. He now harvests around 30kg of sesame per hectare, instead of the 15 to 20kg per hectare he used to get previously.

Constantine demonstrates the Costa Planter

Photo: Constantine demonstrates the Costa Planter

Further success for Farm Africa farmers

Joining Constantine at the show was sesame farmer Musa Ali, also from Babati. He sold 200kgs of sesame, as well 20 bottles of sesame oil - the income from which will go to his co-operative society to distribute among its members. Musa plans to use his share of the money to prepare his farm for the next planting season.

Joseph Khufo, a beekeeper from Bermi, Babati, sold twenty five of his 500 gram cans of honey at the show. Farm Africa training has enabled Joseph to achieve a five-fold increase in his honey production. 

“This was a great opportunity as I was able to sell honey and interact with potential customers who have taken my contact details and will order more honey in future,” said Joseph. 

Emmanuel explaining his beekeeping methods

Photo: Joseph explaining his beekeeping methods

Marcelina Sule from Mbulu was another Farm Africa trainee selling products at the show. Marcelina has been trained in raffia weaving by Farm Africa, and managed to sell 5 of her raffia woven baskets and 2 raffia woven mats at the show.  

“Now, after selling the baskets and mats, I am able to clear the school fees balance that I owed the school for my children,” says Marcelina.

All told, it proved a very successful show for Farm Africa and its farmers, and we’re now looking forward to trying to repeat the success next year.

Read more about our work in Tanzania

If you want to support these and our other projects in Africa, please make a donation to Farm Africa.