From small farmer to pro in just 6 years

Tumaini Urio’s dreams of greenhouse farming came true in 2013 - but his hopes quickly turned to disappointment.

He had built the greenhouse structure from timber himself. Without the knowledge of vegetable farming and a selection of crops that were not suitable for greenhouse, however, he did not achieve the results he had been expecting. The wooden beams also attracted insect pests and required high maintenance which affected his farming.

But that all began to change in 2014, when he joined SEVIA - a program dedicated to improving the skills of farmers in Tanzania through collaboration between East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer, Rijk Zwaan and Wageningen University and Research Centre.

By joining SEVIA’s seminars on good farming practices for hybrid seeds, including plant spacing, fertilizer application, and safe and effective usage of pesticides, Tumaini’s yields started to live up to the expectations he had been dreaming of since he started farming a decade ago.

Following greater harvests he bought a new greenhouse in 2016 to match his new and improved farming skills and the following year, he bought another. He now has regular orders for his sweet peppers and cucumbers and is already using the profits to plan for another greenhouse acquisition. 

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His new greenhouses have a much longer lifespan than the one he made from timber, attract fewer pests and require less maintenance which allows him to focus on what matters most - his farming.

Despite his success, Tumaini is continuing to work with EWS because he wants to continually challenge himself to learn and improve his farming. He also wants to share his experiences and knowledge with other farmers in his community.

Graph caption: The average Return on Investment (ROI) for completed SEVIA demonstration plots between 2017 - 2018 was 3:1. This ROI is an average across 173 key farmers and across all crop types.

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