‘‘Our dream is to have a big industry for jam making which will compete in both national and international markets’’
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.
‘‘Apart from this challenges we are not discouraged as we know when you are starting any business challenges must be there and you cannot tackle all challenges in a short period of time. So we are now planning to do labeling, make more jam as we can depend on the resources that we have and then after, we will register our company’’.