Aulath Mustafa #WomeninScience

Aulath Mustafa researches soil-less organic farming in Tanzania. She is investigating soil-less organic farming of tomato plants by using coconut husks fibres as the growing substrates.

What excites you most about your research?

I am so glad to participate and share my experience as a woman in research.

Doing my masters degree research on urban agriculture for food security was a great opportunity for me to learn so many new and exciting skills about agriculture.

Moments which excited me a lot was taking care of tomato plants every day , watching them growing healthy, flourish and bear fruits. That was so heart warming. I sometimes was so excited to attend the garden very early in the morning before sunrise and water tomato plants while counting young tomato fruits or counting the ripe tomatoes.

What challenges have you faced?

Regardless of all the good moments some challenges also existed. I faced so much pressure because growing tomatoes without using soil was unbelievable to most people so everyone was eagerly waiting to see the results. The biggest challenge was to make coconut coir pith compost which will support the growth and fruiting of tomato plants...but I am so thankful it was successful.

What would you say to women and girls who might be interested in going into your area of research?

I would like to encourage women and girls who are interested in agriculture by telling them that nothing is impossible when you put your mind onto it and work hard to accomplish it. They have to remember that nothing seems possible until it's done whenever they get some fear.

I want to tell them being an agriculture scientist is such an honour because we are participating directly in minimizing hunger and food insecurity in our societies hence make us be among #FOODHEROES.