Crop yield successes from Yara’s products are numerous, but one farmer’s story of remarkable improvement in Tanzania by using Yara products has granted him recognition for his succeses and awarded him the ambassadorial title of ‘Mr. Yara’.
A smallholder potato farmer from Rungwe district in Mbeya, Tanzania, Mr. Petro Fungo (40) started his farming activities in 2000. Like many other subsistence farmers in Tanzania, Mr. Fungo grew his potatoes based on traditional methods. He did not believe in crop rotation or fertillizer application, hence he experienced soil degradation. The continous low productivity led him to consider moving unto another land until he met a Yara agronomist who provided better insight.
Mr. Fungo showing off his potato harvest.
In 2011, a Yara agronomist visited Ntokela village where Mr. Fungo lived to educate farmers on how to use crop nutrition programs and things were to improve. Mr. Fungo was eager to resolve the problems he had on his land. After receiving training by Yara, Mr. Fungo implemented the program immedietly during the season.
Other farmers were anxiously observing Mr. Fungo’s changed farming methods from a distance, waiting to see the results. After his first season of following Yara’s recommended crop nutrition solution, his yield increased from 60 to 100 bags per acre of which each bag weighed 140kg.
The results wooed many farmers from various villages who then wanted to apply the same techniques and product. Mr. Fungo was beyond happy and could not believe the same land he wanted to abandon had earned him such an income. “I never thought such a high income could be earned from this land,” Mr. Fungo noted.
In 2012, Yara products were new to the area and agrodealers often did not have them in stock. However, through Mr. Fungo, demand started to rise in Rungwe and he grabbed the opportunity to become an agrodealer for Yara products. Besides becoming a agroshop business owner, he has improved his standard of living which has enabled him to renovate his house, send his children to a better school and purchase more land for expansion.
His successful story and passion for educating other farmers on Yara products has earned him the nickname ‘Mr. Yara.‘ “I have shared my experiences to many farmers and those who followed my foot steps have succeeded. If you ask around for Petro Fungo, only my childhood friends will know the name, others will say he does not exist in this village unless you use ‘Mr Yara’,” Mr. Fungo shared with a laugh, showing how much he enjoys his new status.
Yara Tanzania have also welcomed Mr. Yara in style by appointing him as the area’s Yara distributor. By sharing his success story in the media, he has gained more trust from his fellow farmers as well as increased traffic to his shop and selling more Yara products. The lesson for us is that our farmers are truely our best ambassadors!