At Hectares, we believe businesses should be sustainable, innovative and willing to give back to communities and projects.
We have chosen to support sustainable agricultural projects around the world. We’re teaming up with Farm Africa to support their work teaching farmers in Eastern Africa how to maximise their harvests. Farm Africa provide the tools and expertise to increase farmers’ productivity whilst promoting competitive and sustainable farming practices. While Farm Africa supports the farming of crops, livestock, fisheries and forests, there was one project that really stood out to us.
Farm Africa are currently undertaking a 3-year project in the Morogoro region of Tanzania, providing local farmers with both the tools and skills they need to grow orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Here in the UK demand for sweet potatoes is soaring due to their high levels of fibre and vitamins; for farmers in Morogoro they could be the key to stopping the cycle of poverty for local families.
Beatrice, Gift and Lightness live with their father Nehemia and their mother Maria in the Morogoro region of Tanzania. Nehemia is a farmer; he grows maize to feed his family, and tomatoes and sesame to sell. However, pests frequently destroy his crops. What he has left over he sells for a low price to passing traders.
As a result, Nehemia struggles to feed his daughters three meals a day. Beatrice, Gift and Lightness often go to bed hungry.
Nehemia’s eldest daughter Beatrice is 11 years old. Like most children her age she is excited at the prospect of starting secondary school. However, in Tanzania there are a number of costs to secondary education and Nehemia worries that unless he can find a way to earn more from his land, Beatrice won’t be able to finish her education.
Farm Africa is teaching Nehemia and his fellow farmers to grow and sell the orange-fleshed sweet potato – a healthy ‘superfood’ that will transform their lives.
Sweet potatoes aren’t susceptible to the pests that damage Nehemia’s other crops. So growing this crop will mean Nehemia can look forward to a good harvest and be able to provide his family with healthy meals. The money he earns from selling what his family doesn’t eat will help pay for school uniforms, books, and once Beatrice starts secondary school, her school fees.
With sweet potatoes for breakfast every day, Beatrice and her sisters will have more energy to concentrate at school. And because this superfood is rich in vitamin A, which boosts our immune system and helps keep our eyes healthy, they can look forward to a healthier future.
We’re really excited to be able to support Farm Africa’s work and the development of the orange-fleshed sweet potato farming in Tanzania. If you would like to learn more about other projects they are undertaking, or to get involved with their work, click the button at the end of the page.