Maria’s Story

Sweet Potatoes in Tanzania

When I sleep, all I think about is the potatoes – they are helping my dreams come true.

I am 43 years old and have five children and four grandchildren. I was born here in Mwasonge, Tanzania and I am a farmer.

Sweet Potatoes in Tanzania

I used to sleep on a rag on the floor with my children, then I met Mwanaidi. She is a trained farmer, and she gave me new seeds and taught me how to grow orange sweet potatoes. She taught me about soil irrigation, crop multiplication, about dividing vines – the things we didn’t know before.

Sweet Potatoes in Tanzania

She also taught me more about selling my crop. Customers ask me why my potatoes are different in colour. I explain that they are orange because they contain vitamin A, which provides protection in the body and are good for kids and adults’ growth. So customers get excited and buy from me.

Sweet Potatoes in Tanzania

Now we sell seeds, chips, biscuits, doughnuts, flour and even pancakes all made from sweet potatoes. I work happily knowing I will be getting out of poverty by doing what I am doing. I am now a leader in my farming group and teach others what I have learned.

Sweet Potatoes in Tanzania

When I sleep, all I think about is the potatoes. The dream is always the same: to finish the house I am building out of brick stones, to sleep in a comfortable place, to raise the standard of living for my children and grandchildren and send them all to school.

Sweet Potatoes in Tanzania

The sweet potato farming is helping my dreams come true.

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