Tackling rural poverty
Suzanne is a sisal producer from Shinyanga region in Tanzania. Photo: Bill Marwa/Oxfam
Oxfam has been working with small scale farmers, producers and processors in the Tanzania’s lake zone region to improve all stages of rice and sisal production and to find new markets and ultimately improve the lives of rice and sisal producers with a focus on supporting and training women, allowing them to earn more money and raise their status within their communities.
A government buy-in to support the Oxfam funded sisal project is a significant achievement. Sisal value chain actors influenced the Kishapu District Council to allocate TZS 225,000,000 for sisal value chain and for the prioritization of sisal as business crop. Sisal is currently considered as one of the priority crops in the district’s comprehensive plan.
The Governance and Innovation for Strengthening Sisal and Rice Value Chain in Tanzania Project aims to improve food production, income and quality of life for smallholder farmers in Shinyanga, Simiyu and Geita in Tanzania, particularly for women, through the sisal and rice value chain, making more efficient and equitable use of water and land resources and adapting to climate change.
The project benefited 5,078 smallholder farmers, primarily women, and micro, small and medium enterprise businesses with a stake in the sisal and rice value chains in the Shinyanga, Simiyu and Geita regions in Tanzania. Furthermore, four districts formed a marketing association with a total of 3,977 members. District Business Councils that were not functioning turned up to provide an avenue for discussing the development agenda. Women access and control of productive resources has improved as demonstrated by the number of women in the project area participated in legal registration process of their piece of land. Citizens utilizing climate change adaptation and resilience methodologies trained.
The Market Enterprise model has been developed through the “Governance and Innovation for Strengthening Sisal and Rice Value Chain in Tanzania” project. Current focus is on scaling up of the Market Enterprise model