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.”