Special field day in Babati draws 109 farmers 

5 April 2018  


Rashid Malomba Barie has enough support for his farming ventures.


SEVIA’s Extension officer Ladislaus Mkufya explains demo objectives.


Gahmar F1, the new act in town. All the people attending marveled at the amount of fruit the tomato crop was carrying. One farmer just shook her head and said "I have never seen anything like this."

A staggering 109 people attended a special field day in Babati showcasing the importance of including potassium in tomato fertilization and presenting a new variety, Gahmar F1. The event, featuring one of SEVIA’s partner companies, Rijk Zwaan, was the 7th field day (out of 26 in the October 2017 – February 2018 cropping season) organized by SEVIA. 

The field day was held in Ayasanda village at the plot of Rashid Malomba Barie, a 79 year old veteran farmer who shows that he can still compete with the best. The occasion was also graced by 5 government officers including the District Agriculture, Irrigation and Cooperative Officer (DAICO) Mrs. Jetrida Kyekaka. SEVIA’s Managing Director Elijah Mwashayenyi talked about the importance of seeking markets and combining quality seed with good farming technology. “Farmers should take the lead in finding markets”, emphasized Extension Manager Epaphras Milambwe. Matthew Ngoma (Rijk Zwaan) explained the merits of using quality seeds including Rijk Zwaan’s tomato varieties Gahmar F1 and Jarrah F1. In her address Mrs. Jetrida Kyekaka pleaded with Rijk Zwaan to open a branch in Babati so as to make their seeds more accessible. Village chairman Elias Bombo thanked SEVIA for choosing Babati as one of its working districts and pledged to put Babati on the map through vegetable production.

Two farmers, youth Erasto Elias who had been learning from Mr. Malomba’s demo and Abubakari Saidi from Kikore, gave moving testimonies of how collaboration with SEVIA was making a difference in their lives. Host farmer Mr. Malomba could not hide their happiness at what was transpiring: "I would like to thank SEVIA and extension officer Ladislaus Mkufya. He is a hardworking young man whom you can call at anytime. He has shown me that by using hybrid seeds with proper fertilizer, I can get a good yield in a small plot. To my fellow farmers I say, if I can produce like this at my age, you can all do the same.”

It makes selling easier 

12 March 2018  



Christina Msalato and Abigael Mlonga are vendors in Msalato Village (just outside the city of Dodoma). Since farmers are now producing better quality products, selling has become easier. 

Smallholder farmers like vendors Christina Msalato and Abigael Mlonga sell a lot, because they offer what farmers regard as a fair price for produce, even while the profit margins after selling are low. For example, if the ladies buy tomatoes at TZS 800 per kg, they resell at TZS 1000 per kg. This is in stark contrast to some other buyers who offer the farmers a lower price and put a big mark-up on the selling price. 

The job of Christina and Abigael is made easier by farmers who use better quality varieties seeds advocated for by SEVIA. “We are for instance very happy with the quality of this tomato variety (Victory F1). It has a uniform shape, tastes good and the skin shows no bruises. Our customers like it too,” they told SEVIA extension officer Mseti Mwita recently. “It makes selling easier.” SEVIA advices farmers to choose improved varieties, because these are also more resilient to pests and diseases and are known to deliver a higher yield.  

Selling of farm produce is a major challenge to many of vegetable farmers in Tanzania. A lot of farmers focus on accessing town and cities markets since they believe they can fetch higher prices. This fact is known to favour larger vegetable growers since they can sell their produce in bulk. Large growers have two advantages in selling their produce; they can sell wholesale to markets or directly to processing industries. Most small scale farmers are forced to keep on selling their produce to market speculators, middleman or directly to the market. By doing this, they sometimes get low profit due to high bargaining power of the traders or are confronted with costs for taking the produce to the market. By improving the quality of the produce or e.g. choosing varieties that have very specific characteristics, farmers might attract specific traders and gain more selling opportunities.

Neighbours are also very anxious to learn from my experiences

16 August 2017  



My name is Laurent Daslo (53). I live in Nangara (Babati) together with my wife Magdalena Mkeni and three children. Five years ago I started vegetable farming. Untill this spring I grew Chinese cabbage, sukumawiki, carrot and African nightshade. I always wanted to grow tomatoes, but in a more skillful way. One day I was triggered by the extension officer of SEVIA, Ladislaus Mkufya, who set up a demo field in the nearby street. We agreed to do the same at my place. He showed me to produce more yield on a a small area. Since I have no water problems here, I like to continue growing other vegetables. My neighbours visit me and are very anxious to learn from my experiences. Watch it here

Planning of farming is very important

16 August 2017 


My name is Abubakari Saidi, from Babati. Since I finished school in 1997 I am a vegetable farmer. I fully rely on income out of my vegetable farming and of course – I have 7 children – I am always on the lookout to increase my profits. Quality seeds make a big difference: they produce more transplants and the plants are healthier. I learnt how to plan the farming which is also very important. Watch it here

I now pay attention to the right dosage of chemicals and fertilizers

16 August 2017  


I am Monica Humay. Originally I am from Arusha, but I moved to Babati. My husband and I have been farmers for over 30 years. I grow cereal crops like maize, but I discovered growing tomatoes can be very profitable in a short period of time. Because we live close to the road from Babati to Morogoro it is very easy to find a trader who buys our products. We switched from traditional farming to applying improved methods according to the SEVIA-way. I now pay attention to the right dosage of chemicals and fertilizers. SEVIA also taught us about spacing and the use of quality seeds. Watch it here

I am happy when the farmers are happy

16 August 2017 


My name is Ladislaus Mkufya. I am SEVIA extension officer in Babati. I like to teach the farmers to improve their vegetable farming. When they are happy, e.g. when they actually see that their products are better than before, I am happy too. Watch it here

Harald Peeters, Managing Director Rijk Zwaan Tanzania

3 July 2017 


Harald Peeters, Managing Director Rijk Zwaan Tanzania: "SEVIA is a good synergy of private and public partners." Watch it here


Knowing how to use a greenhouse makes a good farmer

7 March 2017, Moshi



  Having a greenhouse does not make you a good farmer, but knowing how to farm in a greenhouse does! Mr. Christopher Elias Mrecha is a regular farmer in Hai who built a greenhouse in the hope of increasing his income.

He said he was often misled on his failing crops. When SEVIA visited him for the first time, he was growing sukuma wiki in his greenhouse.

After his first consultation he was alerted by SEVIA that his plot had a serious case of bacteria wilt. And due to poor construction of the green house, the air circulation was ineffective which caused other diseases due to high humidity.

After just over one month of guidance and good farming practice his new crop (cucumber) was ready for harvest.

He was urged to seek market before harvesting and he successfully managed to secure a market with Nakumatt Moshi. Due to the good quality of his products he was asked to consider supplying a number of other vegetables.

One thing all farmers should have in mind is that they should always seek advice before and after setting up the greenhouse. It is the farming skills that make the difference!