"YWEE Kilimo Save project empowers needy families Kigoma Region"

27Jul 2021
Aisia Rweyemamu
The Guardian
"YWEE Kilimo Save project empowers needy families Kigoma Region"

THE Norwegian Church Aid together with faith-based organizations works in partnerships with United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to implement Youth and Women Economic Empowerment Project (YWEE) Save Kilimo project in Kigoma, Tanzania.

Under the project, identified smallholder farmers grow various vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumber, hot peppers, and green veggies which have contributed to increased households’ income and build community resilience to shocks.

It offers smallholder farmers with affordable drip irrigation kits to enable them to engage in the horticulture value chains.

With the technical support on good agricultural practices, close accompaniment and access to farm produce markets, farmers have increased agricultural productivity, incomes and achieve sustainable climate-smart farming.

As of May 2021, the project has recruited 1, 527 micro-investors, among them 961 female and 556 male; established and registered 45 farmer producer groups; 1500 farmers accessed loans from savings and lending groups to invest in agriculture; 1500 farmers were linked to commercial service providers so they could access climate smart agricultural inputs and services and 2000 farmers received training on good agricultural practice through electronic learning platforms such as E-Learning and E-Extension through partner organization e-Soko.

The project has also integrated gender aspects whereas it also provides reusable sanitary padsfor improved women and girl’s menstrual hygiene management.

Ester Gervas (57), a single mother with 6 children in Kibondo District, Kigoma said she started with only one veggie bed worth 7,000/- equivalent to US $3 in October 2020, but she is now assured of generating constant income from selling vegetables at a local village market.

“Before the project, I would only make a profit of $2 by selling one goat every after two weeks; I am now generating a profit of $28 in three months from one vegetable bed,” said Ester who has also used part of the generated income to buy two goats worth $18.6.

Ester is now planning to use the profit from the sale of veggies to invest in her children’s education and improve her family’s nutrition. Emmanuel Mbogo, (37) a father of three living in Kibondo district, joined the project in November 2020 with one veggie bed worth $3.9 and after a three-month period he had already generated a profit of $22.5.

Apart from vegetables, Mbogo is also growing maize and beans to feed his family.

Emmanuel said: “The most intriguing part about the project is the fact that I can have a small farm in my homestead and grow throughout the year; I plan to extend more beds to earn more income.”

Stella Daniel, a mother of seven living in Kasulu District said she started with two veggie beds of tomatoes worth $10, after selling them she got $84 as a profit. Stella has been increasing her incomes throughout and has now bought two more vegetable beds whereas she is able to generate $17 every week.

“My income has increased substantially from $4 to $17 per week, I can now provide for my children and buy agricultural inputs to increase productivity,” she added.

NCA in collaboration with partners has also assisted farmers to form groups. Kumgarika women group in Kibondo is among the beneficiaries, the group has a total of five members engaging on tomato farming.

They started with 3 veggie beds and extended them to 8, the group has so far generated $377 and they are still harvesting tomatoes.

One of the group members, Rose kiyoya, (60) said she only invested $11, and she has generated $140 as a profit. Sebastian Edison (24) a resident of Nyamnyusi village, Kasulu District in Kigoma has started with four beds of Chinese cabbage and cucumber and after harvesting he got $86.

He managed to reinvest by increasing one more bed to make up five. His income before the project was $3.4 per week but recently his income has doubled to $7.3 per week.

Following the good work from participating farmers, in 2020 National Farmers Day (Nane Nane) exhibitions held in Kakonko District, Kigoma, NCA emerged the winner on Agricultural Innovation.

This was possible due to the support and collaboration from the faith partners and UNCDF for the mobilization and building the capacity of poor communities to engage in climate smart economic empowerment programmes.

As implementing partners, NCA and partners mobilize farmers with agricultural experts - agronomists, and marketing officers to develop the farmers’ capacities to adapt and forge climate-smart farming activities.

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