Anna (35) and Charles Amuri (42) are a married couple who live in Chilimba village in Masasi District in rural southern Tanzania. They have three children, two boys and girl. “We are smallholder farmers” says Mrs. Amuri, “We joined Pathways initiatives in 2013 and through that we were able to be a part of groups were we learnt about sustainable agriculture, village saving and loan schemes as well as acquiring entrepreneurship skills.”
The family holds 20 acres of land, but they cultivate only 12 because of their limited capacity to manage the farm. Even before joining the program, the couple cultivated crops such as cassava, maize, sesame, green pea and pigeon peas. However, they attest that compared to what they are producing now, they were harvests were quite low. “The harvest averaged at less than 400kg of cassava per acre, maize was around 120kg/acre. The season before we started using the recommended practices we harvested 32kg of sesame and 40kg of green peas, each from an acre of land.” At the time, they were harvesting enough to feed the family and locally sold what was left for a small income. But after seeing other farmers in their villages boasting of more crop yields they decided to try for themselves, and good thing they did! In the last season they harvested 2 tons of maize from 2.5acres of land, averaging at around 800kg/acre. They bagged 1.5tons of green peas from 2.5 acres and their sesame harvest averaged at just under 400kg/acre.