Alfred John Masanja (45) is a vegetable farmer from Nyandekwa Village in Kahama District. He has been engaged in farming activities since 2000. He currently grows tomato and watermelon of hybrid varieties.
For some years and seasons, Alfred faced challenges like pest and diseases, shortage of water for irrigation, improper use of fertilizer and access to the market of his farm produce. “It has been difficult for me to penetrate the market because of my low-quality produce”, he commented.
On September 2018, Alfred knew SEVIA through training for his neighbour on proper seed selection, nursery management and spraying techniques which was facilitated by Benjamin Masurura (SEVIA extension based in Kahama District). “I wish I could have this knowledge before. Poor farming practices are now a thing of the past for me now,” he said to Benjamin.
To cope with the changes, Alfred adopted the use of improved varieties, better pest and disease control and other crop management techniques and then dug a borehole to ensure consistent supply of water for his crops. Now he is able to cultivate in all seasons. Out of tomato and watermelon, Alfred increased seasonal profit from his half-acre plot from 600,000 Tshs to 2,000,000 Tshs. “SEVIA is a catalyst for a good farmer’s life. I can now fulfill my family needs and expand my investments”, he said.
Alfred is now training other farmers on behalf of SEVIA extension officer. “Despite the fact that I introduced new knowledge to my fellow farmers, I also learn further from their success”, he happily said.