I am Patrick Roberts. My job is to edit Farm Radio Weekly. The Weekly is one of Farm Radio International’s many online resources for broadcasters and journalists.
I am based in Tanzania. This means that I am able to look for stories about small-scale farmers for the Weekly myself. [However, the majority of the stories featured in the Weekly are gathered by African stringers (freelance journalists).]
Recently, I was invited to visit a group of Maasai women who have discovered permaculture through a project run by Testigo Africa. The women have focused their undoubted energies, abilities, and entrepreneurial skills on growing vegetables and starting new businesses. These new income-generating activities have benefited the communities in Oltepesi and other villages around the town of Longido.
The subject of this photograph is Namnyak Lengunin, a mother of two and co-wife of a Maasai herdsman. She learned how to set up a vegetable garden, which was something quite alien to the semi-nomadic Maasai people. Her garden produced enough to feed her family and sell produce at a local market. The income from her sales was enough to pay for her eldest son to stay at school to complete his education.
Next season, she hopes to earn enough to buy her own goats and cows. Starting her own herd will give her greater financial independence from her husband.
It is always fantastic to meet one of the farmers highlighted in the Weekly. These experiences give me a much better understanding of the challenges faced by the subjects of our stories.