Nelson Luhwago, a farmer in Tanzania who is working to support his local farming community and mitigate the effects of climate change on crops, enjoys seeing his flourishing avocado intercropped with soybeans. Photos taken in 2019.
Luganga Village, Kilolo District, Tanzania — In Tanzania, millions of families rely on agriculture for their livelihood. Traditional methods have supported families, but in the face of climate change, these methods are no longer viable to keep food on the table. The Clinton Development Initiative (CDI), along with a local partnership with the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI), is working to help farmers transition to more sustainable ways of growing and marketing their crops.
For farmers like Nelson Luhwago in the Kilolo District of Tanzania, working with CDI has been transformative. Farmers in eastern and southern Africa face increasing threats to their livelihoods, including drought, insects, pests, and diseases. But thanks to a partnership with TOSCI, Luhwago and others are able to access and multiply drought-resistant, modern seeds that both improve quality and bolster opportunities to sell their produce.
Luhwago is a leader in the “CDI Seed Roadshows,” where, as a member of CDI’s “Hub Farmers” — a collective group in which farmers support each other, share data and best practices, and work to spread the word about CDI — he helps show his community the potential to increase outputs and profits. TOSCI is responsible for certification and promotion of quality agricultural seeds produced or imported into Tanzania, and focuses on safeguarding farming communities from poor quality seeds.
This partnership helps to give farmers a guarantee that the seeds they are accessing are of the highest quality, that they are purchasing from certified producers and resellers, and will help to give them better returns on their investments. Through expanded access to fertilizer and seeds, these farmers are increasing their yields and ability to invest back into their farms.
Through expanded access to fertilizer, seeds, and labor during the harvest, CDI’s “Hub Farmers” are increasing their yields and ability to invest back into their farms. Photos taken in 2019.
Using improved seeds, Luhwago was able to dramatically increase his output. He now produces and sells Quality Declared Seeds — and at the start was the only farmer in his village doing so. Since November of 2019, he has been able to increase sales — an impressive $1,685 to date. This new business opportunity is not only helping Luhwago, but also paying dividends in his community, too.
Going on the road to showcase the potential of these Quality Declared Seeds has helped other farmers to get behind them. Seeing is believing, and hearing directly from a member of your own community helps to increase faith and trust. It’s why the Seed Roadshows have had such a great impact in spreading the word about these better-quality crops.
Today, Luhwago has also expanded his crops to include avocados. This is a crop that will be paying dividends in the future. Luhwago explained, “Through [the] Clinton Foundation, I have learned a lot good techniques of managing crops. Now with the avocados, I see this as a farmer pension fund because when I get old and am not able to work in the farm, I will be able to employ people to harvest avocado fruits and earn money without working much.”
Across the board, farming communities are then able to benefit from the increased profits by investing directly back into their farms. The ability to purchase fertilizer, quality seeds, and even hire labor to help them harvest their increased crops is all a step in the right direction.
This is just one of many partnerships that are helping to improve food security and create more opportunities for these communities. Working together, CDI and partners provide farmers with heat- and drought-tolerant seeds to grow stronger, healthier crops and to help reduce the negative impacts of climate shocks.
“CDI has made exceptional contributions to improve food security and nutritional health in east and southern Africa, with a strong focus on smallholder farmers in rural communities.”