Rose Ngoka is a young lady who is struggling to transform her life by exploring different opportunities that comes around. She is 23 years old with college background employed in a certain Organization but for her depending on monthly salary she cannot fulfill her basic needs and accomplish her dreams. Wherever she sees an opportunity she make use of it without considering if she can or not, what she believe is that, she can if she get training and be ready to act on the issue.
She is a SUGECO farmer who is cultivating Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) in a quarter acre of SUGECO farmland in Morogoro. She likes to encourage other youths to fight for life regardless of educational background that someone has.
For months, she has been working with Kathleen Novelia who is a Food Preservation and Processing Specialist, a UNITERRA volunteer from Canada in making different dried fruits. This started off with her offering help to Kathleen as she saw the amount of different fruits she was processing. The simple gesture turns into a complete training that finally enables her to now process her own dried fruits and establish her micro enterprise, called Amani: Premium Dried Fruits.
By using solar dryer facility at SUGECO she learned on how to dry fruits without losing its nutrients and minerals, along with different techniques on manipulating fruits. So far, she is drying tomatoes, jackfruits, pineapples, plums, pears, bananas, mangoes, and sweet potatoes. She is also making fruit leathers from Kathleen, which is another type of dried fruits that requires a good amount of techniques in order to make it. Many people have been amazed by the texture and taste of the fruit leather since is the new product that most of Tanzanians are not aware of. Through the help and support she received, she has started to meet with clients in Morogoro.
Apart from that, Rose Ngoka has started her contribution in the society since the fruits she is drying she buys from the small holder farmers in Morogoro. By doing so, she is stimulating the fruits market and reducing post harvest losses. Her dream is to have a big enterprise for fruits processing and to become a business woman in sector of fruits.
Meet an entrepreneur, Veronica Kavishe at Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) who is making fresh juice and supplying it in Morogoro.
This 35 years old woman and a mother of three children, she started working in a small industry as laborer in making juice. She worked over seven months and later on, the owner decided to close its door. This is when she visited SUGECO in 2016 looking for support. SUGECO supported her with a small room which has all facilities for making juice such as free electricity, blenders, freezers, etc.
She started with a small capital of 20,000tsh and now the capital has risen up to 500,000 tsh. She started making 30 litres and now she is making over 150 litres per day. She is selling in both wholesale and retail price whereby people who buy in wholesale are supplying to their restaurants in Morogoro. Other consumers of her juice are SUGECO staffs, people around the area, along with Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) staffs and students.
With the help from SUGECO she has now successfully made a living from selling fresh juice. She has been able to send her children to school, to provide basic needs for her family, to do farming, to pay for house rent and to buy a small plot for building her own house using the money she is saving from selling juice.
On top of all that, she has been able to employ two young girls who are supporting her with different activities. Her working area is small, but SUGECO has exciting plans to expand the room and increase facilities in order to incubate more youth.
A 25-year-old Dorcas Dismas is a 2016 graduate in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture General from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA). After completed her studies, she found herself in the street with no employment or anything to do for about one month. Later on, she decided to join a company that works on distribution of cosmetics. Despite the low salary, she had to use a lot of time to convince customers to buy the products, and to walk long distances looking for the customers.
She decided to leave a job and find another one that will help her get money to fulfill her personal needs. This is when she visited Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) looking for a job. Unfortunately she didn’t get the chance because the organization was not looking for new employee.
On 17 October 2017, she was invited to attend a 3-day training conducted by SUGECO in collaboration with International Trade Centre (ITC) on post harvest management and handling of horticultural produces. The training attended by 30 youth who were the producers and processor of horticultural produces. It is where she learnt on how to make jam, mango pickle, chill sauce and tomato sauce.
After completed the training she formed a group of 6 youths who did not get the opportunity to attend the training. They agreed to start making jam for sell in order to look on the market and how customers will accept their product. On 15/11/2017, they met together and Dorcas trained the other five youths on how to make jam. They managed to make 20 jams with two fruits varieties with the mixture of pineapple, strawberry, blackberry and black currant.
They sold the jam to the family members and their friends. The feedback was good with relatively low challenges, like lack of labels and lack of resources. Despite of the challenges, their product was accepted by the people and they managed to finish selling those 20 jams in three days.
Happy new year from everyone at SUGECO.
2017 was a productive and great year for SUGECO. We are pleased to share some of our favorite stories with you in this newsletter.
We hope you will stay in touch and continue to learn about the extraordinary work being undertaken by SUGECO members.
Here is the link http://mailchi.mp/be4c994e3e0b/sugecoyetu-newsletter-3rd-edition
“Agriculture is a field that will never end, for all the youth who have interest and ambition to work in agriculture, will make the best value out of it.”
Erick Buguzi is a graduate in Bsc in Environmental Sciences and Management from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA). After completing his studies in 2015, he joined a research activity on agriculture conservation that was funded by the Zambian Conservation Farming Unit (CFU). The project was implemented under the Department of Engineering Sciences and Technology at SUA.
Through the research project, he was able to learn a lot about different agricultural techniques, especially on farm management, agricultural mechanization, pests and diseases control, land use planning, and irrigation system technologies.
When he was working with the project, he used to visit Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) because it is nearby his work. He was so inspired by the SUGECO activities that he decided to join and to be a member of SUGECO in 2016.
“SUGECO activities were so inspirational to me. By being a member, I was able to come up with profitable ideas in agriculture that has been helping me a lot in my life.”
In 2017 he decided to seek a portion of land from SUA and he started cultivating horticultural crops in the open field. He used to spend a lot of time in watering the crops using local irrigation systems which consume a high amount of water by using cans on a small piece of land. He spent too much time and too much money to employ others to support him in watering his crops.
This year through SUGECO Erick has received one acre drip irrigation system from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). He is now reducing the high water consumption, cut off labor cost and getting extra time to do other activities.
“Thank you SUGECO for supporting me a set of drip irrigation, now I have one acre maize farm that uses drip irrigation and I expect to harvest a lot this year”
Hamisi Abdallah Malawaga is one of the farmers from Kilosa district in Morogoro who had received training from SUGECO on nutritional awareness and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) under the Nutritional Awareness and Cash Crop Value Chain (NACC) project. This project provides trainings to farmers in Gairo and Kilosa district in Morogoro about yellow maize, Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP), and sesame. Hamisi is among the 60 farmers who prefer to learn and to cultivate yellow maize in Kilosa district. He received the seeds and fertilizer as a startup kit to cultivate in one acre of land.
Hamisi found out about SUGECO through a one-day training seminar held by SUGECO in their village about benefits of yellow maize, OFSP, and sesame. Before the training he didn’t know about GAP, for example on preparation of farm before planting, and on how to choose good seeds and nutritious crops. At the beginning he was cultivating white maize but the yield was not high.
Apart from increasing the production he has been able to raise the income, to educate other 20 farmers to grow yellow maize, to register more than 50 farmers who will grow yellow maize in the upcoming year, to be able to pay school fees for his children, and to provide other basic needs to his family.
Aside from providing training, SUGECO also support farmers through market linkages. We have linked over 200 yellow maize farmers to Tan Feed Company based in Morogoro. Through this link, farmers are able to sell their yellow maize produce directly from their villages. Hamisi is the one who has been selected by the villagers as a representative to sell their crops under close supervision from SUGECO Agricultural Officer, Mr. Baraka Mashishanga
Meet a young entrepreneur Ray Peter Mark from Dodoma-Tanzania who has received support from SUGECO. His big dream in agriculture to feed the world is now coming true. His parents used to send him to farm early in the morning before going to school and during the weekends, which is where he developed his spirit and ambition to work in agriculture. He has achieved a lot although it was not easy for him to start agribusiness. He started with by promoting agriculture by establishing demo farms in his secondary school and village.
At the beginning, Ray Mark was cultivating crops in the open field where the crops were more susceptible to diseases, pests, and birds. Water consumption for irrigation in open field was also significantly higher than it is in greenhouse. By using the greenhouse, he is able to make more profit under the same amount of time. In six months, the yield increased from one tonne in open field to seven tonnes in greenhouse with less labour force. He became a champion farmer in his village and Dodoma as a whole. He is now producing quality products due to a better pest management system in the greenhouse whilst using a lower production cost than open field.
Through greenhouse project he has been able to get in to different network around Tanzania. He is a trusted young man sent by the government officials to teach other youth around Dodoma area through workshops to value agriculture as a business and to grasp opportunities in other sector. He has been getting many visitors from different places to learn about horticulture. Moreover, he is now able to open small cement blocks industry, to have electricity service at his home, and to provide employment to other youth. He is now supplying vegetables and other crops like tomatoes, okras and eggplants to the supermarkets and hotels in Dodoma. Through his achievements from this SUGECO-supported greenhouse, the Ministry of Youth has granted seven million shillings for him to establish another greenhouse.