Agriculture is my way of life, and I believe it will not only secure my future but also empower my community to thrive.


Joseph Nicodemus Dominick is a young leader and agriprenuer from Manyara, Tanzania. His story is a testament to the power of determination, education, and community support. Joseph has transformed his life from being a farm boy to a thriving agriprenuer and a young leader. His journey, marked by resilience and a commitment to empower his community, serves as a beacon of hope for young people in his community.

In life, we face challenges, but with determination, the right support and skills, we can overcome anything.

A Challenging Beginning.

Joseph’s life took a challenging turn early on. He was forced to put his dreams of higher education on hold when his parents couldn’t afford to pay for his school fees. Instead, he had to take up various farm jobs to support his family. This experience instilled in him a deep work ethic and a desire for change.

Joseph harvesting cabbage in one of his fields

“In my heart, the desire to pursue an education burned brightly, it was hard seeing my friends attending school and I could not. I was not afforded the privilege of formal education but I just could not sit and wait, life had to go on. I needed money to live, leaving me with no choice but to take the path of manual labor and hard work on the farms.”‘

Joining Restless Development.

In 2019, Joseph’s life took a promising turn when he learnt that Restless Development was recruiting young people through his village office in Ngara through Shambani Solutions (a Tanzanian-based NGO focusing on reducing poverty and improving the livelihood of rural farmers and young people). It was a part of Kijana Wajibika Programme, funded by Ford Foundation which empowers young people to take a central role in shaping development and government processes, ensuring they play a key part in holding the government accountable and promoting responsiveness.

He was then recruited for the opportunity and successfully joined the programme as a Young Leader. Through this platform, he was introduced to agribusiness, an area that he was always interested in but lacked the confidence and skills to pursue.

Pursuing Passion.

Joseph’s transformation began with the knowledge and skills he acquired through training in agribusiness. He used his hard-earned savings to purchase a piece of land for TZS 5,000,000. On this land, he began cultivating tomatoes, cabbages, vegetables, passion fruits and bananas. With newfound confidence and expertise, his farming venture became remarkably successful.

Joseph harvesting passion fruits in one of his farm fields

I had some savings, but my lack of confidence in diving headfirst into agriculture held me back, as those savings were all I had.”

After three days of training from Restless Development, I found the confidence to take the leap, and I knew I had to give it a shot and I am proud that I did.


Overcoming Challenges.

Joseph’s journey in agriculture is not without challenges. Climate change, particularly unreliable rainfall, threatens the quality and quantity of his produce, making it challenging to compete in the market. In response, Joseph has become a champion against this crisis.

He has invested in drip irrigation, a water-efficient method that delivers precise amounts of water directly to plant root zones. This technology reduces water wastage, minimises evaporation, and improves crop yield.

Joseph calculating his weekly sales at his house

Climate change is undeniably real, and I’ve witnessed its impact on my life. If we continue down this path, in five years, the consequences will be dire.”

Rather than being a mere keyboard activist, I’ve taken the initiative to become a role model, championing sustainable farming practices to ensure that the land we inherited from our grandfathers remains bountiful for generations to come.


Growing sustainably with his community.

Joseph now earns up to TZS 200,000 by selling his produce, and his market is expanding beyond Babati Town Market to neighbouring regions like Arusha and Singida. He aspires to scale his business further by acquiring a larger piece of land and starting a factory to process and package his produce, adding value and creating employment opportunities for his community.

Joseph is also a passionate advocate of sustainable farming and efficient water use. He shares his knowledge with other farmers, helping them adapt to the changing climate. He’s not just building a successful life but also a house, all from the earnings of his agriculture venture.

In his free time, Joseph enjoys playing draft with his peers and uses these moments to encourage them to explore the world of agriculture using his own story as a shining example.

Joseph harvesting bananas in one of his farm fields

The significance of agriculture extends beyond meeting our fundamental need for food, it nurtures economies and, more crucially, catalyzes societal change.”

Growing up as a young boy alongside my sibling on our family’s modest farm, tilled by the hard work of my parents, I witnessed firsthand the transformative power of agriculture. Agriculture has offered me a chance for a fulfilling life.