Thubutu Africa Initiatives (TAI) will enable a group of 120 women farmers to grow fruits and vegetables all year round, by creating an irrigation system on their 9 acres of land, in Nhelegani village, located in the Shinyanga Region of Tanzania. Additionally, they want to build a traditional cold room that will keep the fruits and vegetables fresh for a longer period of time. A cold room lessens spoilage and lengthens the period produce can be sold.
The women now depend on rain to be able to farm. Currently, shallow wells are used to collect rainwater that can last for a few months only. When these wells dry up, it leaves the farmers without water for almost half of the year. Yet it is farming that makes these women survive, as they depend on farming to make a living.
To reduce the reliance on rainfall and to address the increased incidence of droughts, the solution lays in a solid irrigation system. In this project we plan to drill a borehole and construct a network of water points (pipes and taps). And it needs a solar-powered pump and an elevated water storage tank. Together it will bring water closer to the different parts of the farm, all year round. In addition, we will start a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) for joint savings, since these women lack access to financial services against high interest rates. And these simple and trusted saving groups, members easily access small loans.
The farmers group WALIMA MCHICA GROUP are a group of mostly single mothers. They approached us for collaboration, since we have the experience to support them realising their plan. Together we envision a plot of land with growing fruits and vegetables year-round. It means they can then farm a bigger size of land and have multiple harvests each year of fresh vegetables such as amaranthus, cabbage, spinach and green pepper. And since the demand of fresh vegetables and fruits is higher during the dry season, selling prices increase during these periods, and will significantly increase the income of the women farmers.
In 1 year, 120 women farmers will have at least doubled farm productivity, and increased their income with 40%.
600 family members will benefit from the increased income. Based on our experience, we expect that this shows from I creased school attendance amongst the children of the participants and healthier meals that include daily vegetables, which reduces malnutrition and stunting.
And after one year – thanks to no more time-consuming water fetching and the saving scheme – it is expected that work can be done more efficiently. The women will have time left for off-farm activities and more budget that could lead to new income generating activities. Ultimately, it will allow these families to break their cycle of poverty.
The entire community benefits from the increased food security as there will be healthier and more affordable food that will be made available on the market year-round.
What’s more, the women will gain self-esteem when they are able to earn a fair income. These role models will support the position of women in society.
The budget for the following activities is Tsh 17,885,789 (or €6,927). The donation will be used for: