Farm Africa extends support for female sunflower farmers in Tanzania

Farm  Africa

Farm Africa

Premium Supplier 22nd February 2021
Farm  Africa

Farm Africa

Premium Supplier

Farm Africa extends support for female sunflower farmers in Tanzania

Farm Africa has launched a new project with UN Women to support female sunflower farmers in Tanzania to boost their productivity, access quality supplies, reach lucrative markets and increase their incomes. 
The project will build on the success of Flourishing Futures, a previous Farm Africa sunflower project in Tanzania, which was visited by leading chefs Gaggan Anand and Andoni Luis Aduriz in 2019. 

The two chefs followed the journey of sunflower seeds, visiting a local mill to understand how the seeds are pressed into sunflower oil. There they met sunflower grower Timothy Stone and his wife Joyce, who had struggled to adapt to the changing climates in the region. 

A drought that hit their village had nearly destroyed all their crops and put the livelihoods of them and their children at risk. Since, with advice and resources from Farm Africa, they planted hybrid seeds for a variety of sunflowers more tolerant to drought, leading to the family’s most successful harvest. 

“Timothy leads the pilot plantation of sunflowers that substantially improve the quantity and quality of the harvest. Fats, sunflower oil in this case, believe it or not, is a central product in the diet of the Tanzanian population. To make these people self-sufficient in the production of this raw material is to advance food security,” commented Andoni. 

Farm Africa’s new sunflower project progresses this work, providing needed support to female smallholder farmers working in the sunflower sector and supporting UN Women’s efforts to boost the economic agency of women and adolescent girls in Tanzania at household and community level. 

A key aim of the project is to increase women’s membership of sunflower cooperatives. These organisations enable farmers to pool their resources and undertake transportation, packaging, distribution and the marketing of agricultural products to buyers. Although women make up 68% of people working in Tanzania’s sunflower sector, they only represent 17% of members in cooperatives.

“Farm Africa is delighted to embark on a new project with UN Women to unlock the potential of women working in Tanzania’s sunflower sector. Female farmers are currently being held back by poor production practices and lack of access to markets. We are proud to work to help female farmers increase the quality, quantity and value of their produce,” said Mary Batterman, Farm Africa’s Tanzania Country Director. 

Find out more about the project here:

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