Success! BRAC's on track to cultivate livelihoods in Tanzania
June 18, 2014
Thanks to your support, BRAC has ramped up its agriculture development activity in Tanzania. A total of 105 local staff members have been recruited and will soon become experts of agriculture and veterinary services in their communities. In addition to training agriculture workers and providing supplies, BRAC staff has also conducted preliminary studies of access to finance markets and has developed an agricultural loan product to assist small farmers. This will have a 25% flat interest rate, a term of six or 12 months, and 50% of the loan will be payable in monthly installments.
Risks and challenges
Microloans are a key component of this project. Although the vast majority of Tanzanian clients repay their loans, some program managers had a difficult time monitoring the loans. Rural areas are sparsely populated, and in some cases, credit officers had to travel far to reach clients. To combat these challenges, managers introduced new monitoring policies and procedures, such as the Loan Review Team and Branch Review Team, to help increase the number and value of secure loans disbursed.
Christina John is a Dodoma urban resident and a community agricultural promoter. In the past, she cultivated vegetables and other crops using traditional methods, but after receiving training from BRAC, she is now getting more from the same land. Now, her production has increased from five to 10 agriculture beds, and her income went from Sh20,000 ($12) per month to Sh80,000 ($49) per month!
BRAC Tanzania's agriculture program continues to grow with a new livelihood enhancement component called LEAD, Livelihood Enhancement through Agricultural Development (see more information below). In the coming months, new agricultural loans will be dispersed and a total of 40 specialized agri-finance officers will be trained. The servicing team will continue to monitor development and capture loan data, as it becomes available.
This project is running alongside a new agricultural development program for BRAC Tanzania known as Livelihood Enhancement through Agricultural Development (LEAD), which will raise the incomes of smallholder maize and poultry farmers - 65 percent of whom are expected to be women - in more than half of Tanzania. The program is expected to boost farmer production by 50% in maize, vegetable, chicken, and eggs.
Seeds, fertilizer, and training are catalysts of change for female farmers in Tanzania.
Why we care: Because female farmers in Tanzania have little access to agricultural training and resources, crop failures are frequent. Suffering from chronic food shortage and unreliable incomes, these women often find themselves unable to feed their families.
How we’re solving this: By training 300 community agriculture workers and providing quality seeds and fertilizers to nearly 5,000 female farmers.
We're catalyzing change by focusing on women, who make up 80% of Tanzania’s agriculture sector and are most likely to reinvest their income in their families and communities. With your support, we’ll empower community agriculture workers to teach improved farming methods to their neighbors. In addition to providing knowledge, we’ll give the tools necessary for Tanzanian women farmers to transform their lives - quality seeds and fertilizers.
Our agriculture success model has been tested and proven in Bangladesh, Uganda, South Sudan, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. We help farmers through every step of the way – agricultural research, skills training, and accessing affordable quality supplies.
Over the next three years, we’ll improve agricultural productivity by 25% and increase the income of 70,000 farmers by 30%. Together, let’s be seeds of change for women farmers in Tanzania.