Connecting Farmers and Consumers: A Vegetable Dealer’s Story
Vegetable dealer Hamisi Kibasu Mzinga purchases fresh vegetables from farmers in different parts of the Lake Zone in northern Tanzania. He then sells the vegetables to customers within the country and also sometimes to customers in neighboring countries.
During the tomato harvest season, Hamisi spoke with EWS-KT Technical Field Officer Mganga Togolai about his role as a buyer and seller of vegetables and about the quality, volume, and consistency of produce that he is looking for:
“The market for vegetables has never been a problem,” Hamisi said. “Farmers think it is because they don’t know where the demand is. But we are here as part of the value chain to take produce to where there is demand.
“A few major challenges with our business are poor consistency in production and low quality and quantity of produce. Now I visit and buy frequently from Kahama because I see there is something changing, because farmers receive technical assistance from East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation.
“I buy more from fields with posters of EWS-KT because I find products with the same quality I want, and more EWS-KT farmers increase their scale of production. For instance, today is the fifth harvest from the same field; now I don’t need to go through several small, small fields with different quality of products.”
EWS-KT works closely with farmers to increase their horticultural skills and knowledge—and as a result, the quality and quantity of the vegetables they produce. Vegetable dealers like Hamisi expand the possible market for their harvest, bringing farmers’ produce to consumers both near and far.