From being a job seeker to having a successful agricultural business

Finding a proper job or a stable source of income has always been a significant challenge in the country. Meet Aisha Luka, who, despite knowing agriculture and entrepreneurship, she was still unable to have a secure source of income. Agriculture, on the other hand, is the backbone of the Tanzanian economy and According to World Bank (2016), agriculture provides a living for 66% of Tanzania’s population.

However, there is no better way to accomplish it than to do it responsibly by adhering to agroecological principles of farming that protect the environment while also increasing productivity. As a result, in 2019, Aisha Luka decided to join the Mapambano group, which is one of the farmer’s groups under the Austrian Development Agency, and the ICEP funded Dodoma Women in Agriculture and Business Initiatives (DWABI). Prior to adopting agroecological methods, Aisha would only collect up to 3 sacks of maize, sunflower, and groundnuts on 3 – acres of land, which resulted in a lower income of up to 500,000TZS per year but this will all change once she starts implementing these methods.

Who is Aisha?

Aisha Luka, a 42-year-old woman, mother of two, is married and living in Nzali village in Chilonwa ward in the Chawmino district, Dodoma. Dodoma is a semi-arid region with distinct dry and wet seasons of low rainfall below potential evapotranspiration, but it is not a desert, so farmers can boost productivity and improve soil fertility through agroecological approaches.

Aisha on one of her farms where she practices intercropping

Aisha had extensive training on proper farming methods like proper spacing, improvement of soil fertility using animal manure, intercropping, and application of mulch after joining the group. This shifted her entire agricultural perspective to a more sustainable one. She also uses quality local seeds in her process.

Another thing she managed to do was increase the amount of land she was growing by 133% from 3 acres to 7 acres. She currently harvests 15 bags of maize, 6 bags of Sorghum, and 15 bags of sunflowers which have doubled her income by 200% from 500,000TZS to 1,500,000TZS per year. This was a great success for Aisha as she confessed that she has never harvested such a quantity of products prior to joining the Mapambano group. This increased her household income and ensured food security for her family and community.

Aisha showing the concrete bricks for the new home she is constructing.

Aisha’s success in Agriculture and the entrepreneurship training she got from SAT has favored her in that she sees and utilizes any kind of entrepreneurship opportunities that crosses her way. Following few months after her training, Aisha saw an opportunity in her neighborhood and decided to utilize the opportunity to start up a small business making liquid soap and selling baobab fruits to earn some money. She also cultivates and sells tree seedlings to her neighbors as she is interested in afforestation because she knows that this is an important factor when it comes to improving soil fertility and increasing productivity in these dry areas.

Aisha shows the tree seedling which she plants and sells

Success in business

Her success has emerged fully that she was able to buy a piece of land of 0.15 acres for building a modern house for her family. She also keeps 15 cows for dairy, and has bought a motorcycle that generates 10,000TZS per day!

Aisha with her motorcycle which she bought for business

Aisha is a motivation to her fellow women in Chamwino; she has trained 6 groups of 182 farmers in Aisha is motivation to her fellow women in Chamwino; she has trained 6 groups of 182 farmers in Nzali and Mahama villages; moreover, she has facilitated the establishment of 6 demo plots and training on entrepreneurship, saving, and lending model. Currently, Aisha is making plans to start poultry farming.

DWABI Project is proudly supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and ICEP

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