Joseph Mbuji (R) with EWS Tanzania General Manager, Coen Everts at the East West International Field Day in January 2017 at Kibosho.
From frustrated to flourishing farmer
Joseph Mbuji was a frustrated farmer. The short shelf life of his crops combined with failures due to bacterial wilt and virus attacks left him with just four to six crates of vegetables from his half acre farm. This constant uncertainty around the potential yield of his farm was the source of his frustration and he desperately needed a solution.
Mr Mbuji, a vegetable farmer based in the Kerege Bagamoyo district in Pwani region of Tanzania, was facing these challenges when cultivating open-pollinated varieties. These included mainly tomato, okra, African eggplant and sweet pepper.
In 2016, however, things began to change. He was introduced to East-West Seed’s hybrid varieties by the product promoter based in the Coastal areas. This partnership grew and eventually Mr Mbuji’s farm became a demonstration field for some EWS tomato varieties, such as Kipato F1 and Victory F1.
For Mr Mbuji, Kipato F1 showed the best performance compared to other varieties, which persuaded him to purchase 25 grams of Kipato seed which he cultivated on his half an acre farm.
In the first season using Kipato F1, he yielded more than 20 crates of firm, uniform fruits with a shelf life of up to three weeks and, more importantly, the variety proved to be largely resistant to bacterial wilt.
Kipato F1 tomato variety by EWS Tanzania
Once the word of his success had spread, he was selected by the Mikocheni Institute to conduct a research on yield. Under scientific guidelines from the Institute, the highest recorded yield per plant was 9kg of Kipato F1 fruits.
The introduction of Kipato F1 to his region was a great success as most of the surrounding farmers were suffering from their tomato field wilting just before fruit maturity. Kipato provided a solution to the frustration of uncertainty that many farmers in the region were facing.
Mr Mbuji played a significant role in encouraging his fellow farmers on the use of Kipato F1 due to the result he experienced on his field. He is now considered as one of East West Seed Tanzania’s most influential farmers around Bagamoyo and the Coastal zone.
To acknowledge his promotional efforts, he was invited to the East West International Field Day on January 2017 at Kibosho. He also participated in various Agro-dealer meetings.
Over the past year, Joseph has managed to establish two nurseries in Kerege Bagamoyo and in Sinza. He successfully raises and sells seedlings of most of East West Seed varieties including Kipato F1.
In addition to being selected by the Mikocheni Institute for research, the Sokoine University of Agriculture has included Joseph in one of their projects on raising seedlings.