Tanzania: Small-Scale Farmers Leverage Lime to Skyrocket Productivity, Overcoming Soil Acidity in Njombe and Iringa Regions

In a significant departure from long-established farming practices, small-scale farmers in the Njombe and Iringa Regions have harnessed the transformative power of lime to combat soil acidity. This progressive strategy has propelled their agricultural productivity to new heights, underscoring the incredible impact of timely, informed interventions.

The striking transformation is attributed to the effective collaboration between the Clinton Foundation, Farm for the Future, and the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (Sagcot). Their joint endeavors have been instrumental in educating farmers about soil health testing and the use of lime, targeting the reduction of soil acidity and the enhancement of soil health.

Nelson Luhungo, a farmer from Luganga village in the Kilolo District specializing in soy, beans, and sunflower seeds, attests to the critical shift this has brought about, “The harsh consequences of soil acidity, coupled with our earlier failure to harness the benefits of lime, had stunted our farming yields for far too long. However, our newfound understanding of lime application has led to a significant increase in yield from 30 to 45 bags across my three acres, exemplifying the power of this approach.”

Miembo Shija, Senior Agri-business Advisor for the Clinton Foundation Initiative, reiterates the organization’s pledge to building productive partnerships with farmers. Their vision is to encourage abundant harvests and high-quality produce through the promotion of advanced agricultural practices like the use of lime.

Florence Nkini, Public Relations Officer for Farm for the Future, credits the success of the initiative to the collaborative efforts between the organizations, local farmers, and leaders. She underscores that the surge in agricultural productivity is a testament to the power of this unified endeavor.

Daimon Kisoma, a farmer in Chipengele Mtitu ward, Kilolo District, along with many others, was previously oblivious to the concept of soil health. Thanks to Sagcot’s informative initiatives, they now possess a comprehensive understanding of crop value chains, leading to significant improvements in their farming practices and productivity. This invaluable educational drive was coordinated by Sagcot’s IT and Communications Officer, Abraham Nyahucho.

Tahiya Chusi, a tomato farmer in Ilula Sokoni, Nyalumbu ward, witnessed a dramatic improvement in her farm’s productivity following the introduction of lime. Despite prior heavy reliance on fertilizers, her harvests had steadily decreased. However, the introduction of soil pH testing and the subsequent use of lime by the trio of organizations reversed her fortunes, leading to a consistent increase in her harvests.