KUWAKI - Women as small-scale entrepreneurs

Tanzania remains one of the poorest countries in the world. About 80% of the people in Tanzania are living in rural areas and especially women are sociocultural and economically disadvantaged. For this reason HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation supports the project KUWAKI in the Singida province...
Context
KUWAKI is an abbreviation for KUWEZEHA WANAWAKE KATIKA KILIMO which means ´Women empowerment through irrigated vegetable production and marketing`. Besides women, the project emphasizes the inclusion of other disadvantaged groups like albinos, disabled persons and people living with HIV/AIDS.
 
Objective
The objectives of the project are
  • an increased agricultural production,
  • expanded business operations and linkages with the market,
  • access to financial services,
  • as well as sensibility and enhancement of value chains through women empowerment. 
Approach
This is already the second phase of the project. In the first phase, which lasted from 2012 until the end of 2014, over 800 women in 40 vegetable cultivation groups could improve their living conditions. In the new phase of the project, the focus is on vegetable and fruit processing and on a stronger correlation with market players. For this, 60 vegetable producer groups with 60 lead farmers were created. The participants of these groups are highly motivated vegetable farmers, who are willing to engage themselves more in commercial vegetable production. Lead farmers receive trainings in organic agriculture as well as in food marketing.

Results
Knowledge transfer plays an important role within this project. The lead farmers show big commitment in sharing their knowledge with the 1540 group members, from which 71% are women. Thanks to this project, women and other disadvantaged groups can strengthen their status within the society. To make more people aware about the project activities, there are regular radio- and television broadcasts since September 2015.