Voices from the field: Tito Mvungi, Tanzania

Voices from the field: Tito Mvungi, Tanzania

 

Tito Mvungi is finding farming to be a welcome change from constantly trying to find construction work in town. Last year, the 27-year-old decided to try his hand at growing onions at his home in the Mwanga District of Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Region as he had become frustrated working as a builder, sometimes spending a month in town between contracts, losing money.

You must have a contractor who knows you,” he says. “That’s when you can find more permanent work. Otherwise, you end up spending — and not earning — money.”

Although he admits that onion farming is very difficult work, he says that he finds it both personally and economically rewarding. He enjoys life more now, and is happy with the income that he’s able to bring in through his harvests. He says that within four months, onion farming made it possible to take a bigger step forward in life than with other forms of employment he’s experienced. His first harvest enabled him to earn enough money to buy another acre of land and expand his farming business.

 

To help fuel his success, Tito listens to Moshi FM, a partner of Farm Radio International. He says that its radio program has been a blessing, as what he’s learned from those interviewed on the air has helped him avoid the mistakes of others and benefit from their experiences and expertise.

 

His advice to youth is to “come to the shamba [Swahili for a small farm] where there is prosperity.”

 

The radio program that Tito listens to on Moshi FM is made possible as part of the Tanzania Household Resilience Project, made possible by World Vision Tanzania and the government of Tanzania.

 

About the author
Esther Mwangabula is an agricultural journalist who works closely with small-scale farmers in rural Tanzania.  She started working with Farm Radio International in 2008 as a liaison officer for five radio stations as part of the African Farm Radio Research Initiative. Since then, Esther has been supporting FRI’s work in various capacities, including as a mentor for broadcasters in Tanzania. Currently she works as a media and broadcaster liaison officer, working to interview farmers and engage and expand broadcasting partners.

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