Following the launch of One Acre Fund’s Tanzania pilot in 2012, 68-year-old Bosco Mwinyi enrolled—begrudgingly.
Bosco’s fifth-born daughter, Pauline, had heard about One Acre Fund during the first Tanzania mobilization campaign and decided to volunteer as a group leader. Pauline knew her family of 13—including her two parents who farm—would be a good place to start finding farmers to enroll. Bosco agreed to enroll, but at first he did not see what the benefits of One Acre Fund would be. Pauline reminded him of the poor harvests he had year-after-year, despite all of his hard work, and told him he would receive quality seed and fertilizer and would learn modern farming techniques.
After thinking about these benefits, Bosco realized this was an opportunity for him to change his life—and his family’s. Then, Bosco decided to go one step further.
"Soon I wanted my children to take this advantage as well, and I told them that for whoever wanted to join One Acre Fund, I would give him or her one acre of land," Bosco said.
Deborah, Bosco’s 21-year-old daughter, agreed to take this chance.
In 2011, before enrolling, Bosco had harvested 17 bags of maize from the four acres he had planted and five bags of sunflower seeds from one acre. In 2012, Bosco enrolled to plant maize on one acre with One Acre Fund. Deborah followed suit and enrolled her one acre as well. During the year, Bosco fell ill and having Deborah also enrolled saved his crops. Deborah attended all of the One Acre Fund meetings and trainings and brought the lessons back to her father, so he could continue to practice using the new methods. By the end of the season this July, Bosco was able to harvest close to 15 bags of maize on his single acre, and Deborah harvested more than 20 bags.
"I thank my father for showing me the way to success," Deborah said. "This is my first personal harvest, and I have harvested more than what my parents used to get over the years."
"This year has made history to my farming life," Bosco said.
Next year Bosco plans to enroll even more land, so he can pay for his youngest daughter’s education. Two more of Bosco’s children plan to take their father up on his offer for the 2014 season.
"I want to help my parents by starting to take control of my life and taking care of my personal needs on my own," Salai, 18 years old, said. "My parents have done so for all my life until now, and I want to reduce this burden on them. If I start farming with One Acre Fund, I think it will be a good start."
To view more farmer stories, click on a photo below or visit our blog.