At Seed Change we like to think we give farmers the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty. However, even with those tools, the task is much easier said than done. Tanzanian farmers are incredibly hard working and we wanted to take this time to examine a typical day in the life of one of our Champion Farmers, Adija.
Adija has been working with Seed Change since November 2019, when she established her oil palm agroforestry plot. Adija grows over thirty different crops on this farm and must work every day to ensure they are watered, weeded, and get the nutrients they need to thrive.
Here is how Adija typically spends her days:
6:00 AM – Wake up, walk to town to collect water from the communal pump
7:30 AM – Prepare breakfast for herself and her husband. Adija typically has chapati, a local flatbread, or boiled yams with tea.
8:00 AM – Walk to the agroforestry farm to begin work
8:30 AM – Start work. First, Adija waters all of the crops on her plot by collecting water from a nearby tank. While watering, she checks for weeds and removes any that may be harming her crops. When watering is complete Adija is able to check on which crops are ready for harvest. Recently, she was busy harvesting her potatoes which she then brought to the local market for sale.
1:00 PM – Walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch. It is common to find small huts made of palm fronds wherever there are a few farms. Women use these huts to prepare and sell lunch to farmers. The meal typically consists of rice, beans, and amaranth, known locally as mchicha.
2:00 PM – Return to the farm to finish any odd jobs for the day. These typically include preparing land for planting, turning and watering her compost pile, transplanting crops, or applying mulch.
6:00 PM – Return home
6:30 PM – Prepare dinner for herself and her husband. Farmers like Adija typically only have two meals a day and eat meat only two or three times each week. If Adija and her husband are having dinner, she prepares dagaa, a local sardine, and ugali, a stiff porridge made of cassava flour.
8:00 PM – Visit with neighbours
9:30 PM – Return home and prepare for bed