Director of trade and business strategy for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Nick von Westenholz, has raised over £12,000 for farming charity Farm Africa.

Von Westenholz raised the funds after completing the Mahale Mountains Challenge – a physical challenge of resilience over six days involving navigating across 80km of the remote national park in western Tanzania.

He completed the challenge alongside 11 other professionals from the food and farming sector. Together, #TeamMahale has raised over £215,000 for Farm Africa so far.

Head of partnerships for Farm Africa, Anissa Msallem, said: “Farmers across eastern Africa continue to face unprecedented challenges. Conflict and climate change threaten to push farming communities further into poverty.

“Eastern Africa is experiencing the worst drought in at least 40 years, decimating lives and livelihoods.

“By raising funds for Farm Africa, Team Mahale will help transform the lives of farmers in eastern Africa and protect important natural habitats, and we’re very grateful for their support.”

Mahale Mountain Challenge

The Mahale Mountains Challenge took place from 16 – 21 September, 2023, and involved an 80km hike in temperature reaching 35°.

The journey led the team through mixed woodland, bamboo forests and rolling plains in a landscape very rarely visited by humans, the NFU said.

After six days, the team finished on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, before returning to Tanzania’s main city, Dar es Salaam, where they met with a number of food producers and businesses to hear how they are benefitting from Farm Africa’s projects in the country.

Von Westenholz thanked everyone who has donated to the cause, saying that he has raised more than double his initial target.

“I’d also like to thank the rest of the team and say a massive well done. Our extraordinary journey, while at times challenging and tiring, has reinforced the importance of addressing the shared challenges we face in farming and producing food across the world,” he said.

“Farming in the UK and Tanzania have many obvious differences, but challenges such as climate change, volatile supply chains and food security are universal concerns and it is more crucial than ever that we stand together to drive positive change.”