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Vegetable Farming as a Path to Economic Empowerment in Tanzania

Posted On: February 21, 2024
Technical Field Officer Hadija Muhidini waits with the other presenters in chairs at the front of the room.
EWS-KT Technical Field Officer Hadija Muhidini (right, back row) sits with the other speakers at the women’s conference.

IRINGA REGION, TANZANIA — On 31 January, 58 women gathered at a women’s conference in central Tanzania. Held in Kitwiru ward, the meeting focused on empowering women both economically and socially through agriculture and other business ventures. Hadija Muhidini, a Technical Field Officer with East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation, is always looking for new ways to engage women in agriculture, and she was happy to attend as a speaker.

Hadija’s session focused on the potential of vegetable farming to be a lucrative source of income—and an avenue for women to become economically self-sufficient and independent. Her presentation also highlighted the opportunity for women’s groups to collectively engage in vegetable farming, with the guidance and support of EWS-KT technical staff. 

Of the 58 participants, 35 were already engaged in farming, with 25 of them growing vegetables. However, many smallholder farmers in Tanzania produce yields far below their crop’s potential, due to lack of experience with sustainable farming methods. With EWS-KT now working in the Iringa area, these women have the opportunity to rapidly advance their farming skills, or to gain the knowledge and training they need to successfully produce vegetables for the first time. 

In her work with EWS-KT, Hadija has seen firsthand that the impact of women learning and implementing profitable vegetable production techniques can go well beyond contributing to increased household income. “Empowering women in agriculture is not just about farming,” she said. “It’s about cultivating a path to economic freedom and social strength, particularly here in Tanzania.”

Through events like this, and through intensive on-field training in improved vegetable farming techniques, Hadija and the EWS-KT Tanzania team are introducing the power of vegetable production to women in the Iringa, Mbeya, and Morogoro regions.

Women gather for an economic empowerment meeting in Iringa.
Early arrivals to the conference begin to fill the room.