Seed Change supports over 800 smallholder farmers in the Kigoma region, and each one of them has a story.
Our Champion Farmers
Our farmers come from across 50 villages and 23 different farmer groups in the Kigoma region. Each with a family, farm and future. Read a farmer’s story and learn more about their journey as a Seed Change farmer on their route out of poverty.
Angelina lives in Mahembe village where she manages her oil palm agroforestry plot. She is the matriarch of a family of 7, and is responsible for clothing and feeding her 6 children. Angelina started working with Seed Change in November 2019 and has since been working hard on managing her oil palm agroforestry farm.
Ally Kamenyi has been farming for more than twenty years. He has worked with Seed Change since 2016, when he first received improved tenera trees. Since then, Ally has become an oil palm agroforestry expert- successfully establishing and managing his one-acre plot in Nkungwe village. Ally has five children, all of whom are now able to attend school thanks to his increased farming income. The agroforestry project will help improve household food security and improve his family’s diet.
Suzana Edward has been managing her oil palm agroforestry plot since December 2019. Since then she has planted over thirty different crops as well as different trees around the perimeter of her one-acre oil palm agroforestry plot. She is the mother to two young children and this agroforestry project will help to pay their school fees.
Zuhura Bakari Hassani became a Seed Change farmer in 2016. When Zuhura realized that growing the local oil palm variety was not only time consuming but also not profitable, she decided to take a chance and join Seed Change Tanzania.
Zuhura grew up in Mkwanga, a small farming village off the main roads of town. She is a mother to 10 young children and primary bread-winner of her family. Before becoming a Seed Change farmer, Zuhura was farming beans, maize and cassava to feed her family but she was still struggling to make a profitable income. Zuhura would spend 7 hours a day working on her farm while taking care of her children; the remaining amount of time was spent selling her oil at the regional market. Yet she was only bringing in an average of $2.50 a day. Zuhura was not able to cope with her responsibilities of being a mother and her dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
When Zuhura invested in tenera trees her future became instantly brighter. In less than 3 years, Zuhura’s farm is already fruiting! Soon she will have enough income to fully support her family and pursue her dreams of starting her own business.
Athanos Ntibalio has been a Seed Change farmer since 2016. Athanos is from Mahembe village, one of the largest farming villages in the Kigoma region. He is a farmer, constructor, husband, and father. He lives with his wife and 7 children in a house he built himself. Before 2016, Athanos was farming the local dura oil palm trees, yet they were not as lucrative as he hoped. Athanos was not making enough money to send his children to school, and he could not improve the quality of life for his family.
In 2016, Athanos made a brave decision to invest in 40 Seed Change tenera trees. When Athanos’ wife is taking care of the children and working on their maize and bean plot, Athanos is out cultivating his tenera farm. Athanos already sees much more promise in his tenera trees; he has been attending regular farmer training workshops to ensure he is using the best agricultural practices on his farm. Athanos hopes that when his trees start fruiting he’ll earn enough money to provide for his wife and children. Athanos dreams of putting all of his children through primary and secondary school and building a two-storey home for his family.
Meet Margaret Venerand. She is a widow, mother to 9 children, and a Seed Change farmer. She lives off a dirt path in Simbo, a remote village about 20 km away from the nearest town. Margaret doesn’t own much, she shares a single room house with her children and holds a half acre of land which she cultivates to feed and support her family. Without her husband, Margaret is the primary breadwinner. When she’s not bathing, feeding or nursing her children, Margaret spends most of her day farming. Every day, Margaret travels to her farm to harvest food for her family and sells any leftovers on the market. Margaret farms maize, beans, and cassava but unfortunately, it is not enough to feed her family or support her income as a single mother.
In 2017, Margaret made the bravest decision she could ever make and decided to set her family on the pathway out of poverty. Margaret invested in 32 Seed Change trees which will increase her yearly income by over 1000% by 2020. When her trees start fruiting, she’ll be able to sell pure organic palm oil on the markets for a premium price. Not only did Margaret invest in tenera oil palm trees, but she regularly attends farmer education workshops to learn about how to maximize yields. Margaret hopes that one day she will earn enough income to open a small sewing business.
Zuchura lives in Simbo, a quiet village on the outskirts of Kigoma. Every morning, Zuchura gets out of bed to start a day long day of work. She starts by taking care of her 10 children, who are all below the age of 10 and are very dependent on Zuchura. She kneads together maize, flour, and water to make ugali, a staple Tanzanian food, to eat with freshly picked beans. Afterward, Zuchura makes her way to her farm where she grows beans, maize, cassava, and tenera trees. She spends approximately 6 hours a day working on her farm– planting, weeding and harvesting depending on the time of year. Zuchura makes a modest living from selling her produce on the local market, but it is not enough to send her 10 children to school.
In 2016, Zuchura decided to get her family on the pathway out of poverty and invested in 40 Seed Change tenera trees. When Zuchura became a Seed Change farmer, she learned how to take care of her tenera farm properly. When her trees start fruiting, she’ll be able to take home the extra money to start investing in her future.
Mwajuma Amran became a Seed Change farmer in 2016 when she noticed her income was not sufficient to pay her children’s school fees. Mwajuma put her and her family first when she decided to invest in 30 tenera oil palm trees. Mwajuma lives in a small single-room house in Kamara village. She spends most of her days taking care of her children, cooking and farming her half acre plot. Mwajuma knew she was not fully utilizing her land by farming beans, maize and cassava, nor was it profitable for her family. They were barely making ends meet.
When Mwajuma became a Seed Change farmer in 2016, she invested in a secure future. In just a few years, Mwajuma will earn enough money to feed her family 3 meals a day and put additional cash toward her savings. After receiving her tenera trees, Mwajuma joined a female farming group and expanded her knowledge on best agricultural practices. Her knowledge in growing oil palm trees grew, and it showed in her farm. She is now confident to teach other female farmers in her village about growing and selling tenera trees. Mwajuma’s farm is thriving and is expecting to fruit very soon.
Jackson Kinahi became a Seed Change farmer in 2017. Farming oil palm trees is Jackson’s primary source of income to support his wife, children, and grandchildren. Jackson saw an opportunity to become a successful farmer and took it.
Jackson lives in Kazuramimba, a remote village approximately 30 km from the nearest town. Jackson and his family live in a small brick and tin house which he built himself, but it is not big enough to house his entire family. His wife cares for a half acre plot where she grows food crops like soy and cassava. Jackson manages a 2-acre oil palm farm which he works on for almost 8 hours a day. Even both farms and efforts combined is not enough to feed and sustain his large family.
When Jackson joined Seed Change, he learned about best farming practices which dramatically increased his farm’s productivity. He learned about using organic fertilizers, irrigation techniques, and proper spacing when planting tenera seedlings. Jackson’s farm is already showing incredible results. His knowledge and hard work are paying off and he’ll be able to sell his oil in just a few years. Jackson hopes he will earn enough savings to send all of his grandchildren to primary school.
Christina today is the proud owner of 30 tenera palm trees, placing her on a permanent pathway out of poverty. With the knowledge and capital to start saving for her future, Christina’s first priority is her children’s education. The income she’ll earn from her palm oil sales will help pay for the little ones’ school fees, while ensuring that they’re well nourished and able to focus on learning, thriving, and enjoying childhood.
When Yamungua made the decision to invest in tenera oil palm trees and attend Seed Change’s farmer education workshops, she had a long-term vision. Now, with her trees planted and yields just on the horizon, she plans to use her additional income as start-up capital for a small jewelry making business. With her Seed Change trees expected to yield fruit for at least 25 years, Yamungua’s dual income streams will allow her to provide for her family well into the future.
Juma is the proud owner of his tenera oil palm farm, and he plans to use that revenue to give his children an easier life than he’s had. For Juma, that means three meals a day—every day—and never having to worry about next month’s school fees. Twenty years down the line, Juma looks forward to helping fund his grandchildren’s educations with the same tenera trees he has on his farm today.
Featured Farmer: Haiki Posiano
Meet Haiki Posiano. A father, village leader, and Seed Change farmer. He began investing in Seed Change trees in 2015 to support his family. Today, Haiki's annual revenue has grown to $859 USD, harvesting over 4,320kg of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) this year thanks to Seed Change's tenera trees.
Haiki has a bright future. He hopes over the next few years to earn enough additional income to support his family entirely.
Why not change lives all year round? We support farmers 365 days of the year. A monthly gift to Seed Change will go straight to programs that support smallholder farmers. By becoming a monthly donor, you are creating the biggest impact on a farming family in Kigoma.