Between 2009 and 2014, the Belgian NGO Vredeseilanden ran a programme to help improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Chunya District, Tanzania. The programme did not explicitly target tobacco growers, but involved over 6000 smallholder farmers from Chunya, one of the main tobacco growing districts in Tanzania. Through the programme cooperatives were created to assist farmers with the production, processing and marketing of sunflower products, such as oil and sunflower seed cakes. Since the project started, farmers’ average net income per acre has increased by 40 %. The cooperatives are now self-sustaining.