farip seeks and explores ideas from proactive people in rural Tanzania on how they could supplement their income. We support motivated entrepreneurs to further explore and test their business ideas, and we link them to useful sources of information and competence-building.
Once they have the confidence and courage to get something going themselves, farip gives them small loans. They can then prove that their idea works in an experimental phase. The next step is crafting business plans with these small rural start-up companies, based on their real-world experience and actual parameters. Our goal is to help transform those start-ups into attractive investments. Once such start-ups can receive loans on normal terms, farip can withdraw its support.
At the «Collection Point» in Makambako, situated in the southern highlands, maize, beans, potatoes, fruits, and more are gathered, cleaned, packaged, and stored for long-distance transport to Dar es Salaam. The «Points of Sale» mark the endpoint of the 800 km logistics chain, where products are directly sold to consumers in the city. Our local partner, TBM, aims to fill a gap: Scheduled Transport and Points of Sale are up and running.
Now farip aims – with your helpful donation – to facilitate the construction of the first collection point through a loan. Donate now..
Magunguli, November 2023. Tanzanian smallholder farming families could significantly increase their production if they had access to money at the right time for labor in the fields, for seeds, and fertilizers. However, money is always tight in the village. In addition there are no loans that smallholder farming families can afford. The interest rates are too high, and the risk of losing land and houses, which must be used as collateral, is too great.
“But we are rich, just look at all the growing trees we have planted on our land. We just have to wait too long until we can sell the logs,” says Bahat Tweve. Why not offer their growing trees as collateral for loans? Bahat developed “GRACOMA” from this idea. After careful consideration of how credit security could be organized with trees, farip financed the first small-scale pilot project in 2023.
GRACOMA is an experiment that registers forest trees and uses them as collateral for loans. It wasn’t at all certain that such a credit system would work in practice. Until now, it was mainly theoretical discussions that were carefully considered by our project partners in Tanzania. With the success of this first attempt in the fields, we have now achieved a significant milestone: GRACOMA works in practice!
With the first successful attempt in the fields, a crucial milestone has now been achieved: On a village level, GRACOMA is practicable! Now farip want to extend new loans to the 10 existing farming families, but at twice the amount and expand the recipient group from 10 to 100 smallholder farming families.
Building our own marketing chain
Makambako, July 2023. Currently, the marketing chain lacks one essential element: collection points. These are the places where farming families bring their harvest for “scheduled transport” to the cities. Our own trucks are now operating along the 800 km route from Makambako to Dar es Salaam, ensuring two shipments per month. The concept of “scheduled transport” sounds obvious in Europe, but in the Tanzanian countryside, it’s new. It seeks to offer regular and dependable marketing opportunities at transparent prices for small-scale farming operations. The target consumers are the urban population with low incomes. With the proceeds from this newsletter’s donations, farip intends to provide the initiators with a one-year loan to construct and operate the first collection point in Makambako. More..
Fattening cows, can this work?
Msowero, May 2023. It all depends on the rain. Because the rains did not come last year, many farmers in Msowero were unable to harvest maize. Instead of selling it, they used the previous year’s stored maize for sowing. This is why they could not pay back the advance payments from the trading company TBM. To stay in the maize business with TBM and pay off the debt quickly, they produced an idea: to buy skinny free-range cows cheaply from the Maasai and fattening them on their farm for five months. The proceeds will serve to pay off their debt. They hope that the rains will cooperate this year.
Testing the suitability of the GRACOMA idea
Magunguli, spring 2023. Our local partner and trustee Elibariki Tweve visits a forest plot of farmers in Magunguli. He is about to register the trees growing there as loan collateral. With a small-scale test run, farip is testing the suitability of the GRACOMA idea, which was developed by the farmers themselves: GRACOMA (Growing Assets Collateral Management) is designed to enable farmers who previously had no access to credit to offer growing trees as collateral for loans.
I need a reliable motorbike
Msowero, early 2023. “Karibu! I’m Menas Yapesa, a farmer in the extensive village of Msowero. I’m also the local liaison officer for the trading company TBM. That means travelling around the area, visiting farmers to look at their fields, maize stores and cows. I also organise TBM’s sale of their produce. To do my job, I need a reliable motorbike.
How does scouting work? What is the pathway from idea to experimentation? How can an interesting idea from rural Africa be transformed into a successful small business? It takes scouting! This is what farip specialises in: “scouting”. We pick up ideas brought to us by proactive people in rural Tanzania. farip then digs deeper and challenges these ideas, asking questions like: Who are the innovative potential entrepreneurs and their team members who want to bring this innovation to life? How do they organise themselves? Which technical tests can show whether the business idea is feasible? And where is the market for the products?
farip’s ventures are concentrated in the southern highlands around Makambako and Magunguli, as well as along the cargo service’s route to Dar es-Salaam, in Msowero and Morogoro. farip also supports ventures in Dar es-Salaam.