Farmer Story – Tanzania

Alex and Rose heard about HRNS’ activities in their area and decided to join the project in 2012. Both were particularly curious about the gender mainstreaming initiative and wanted to improve their livelihood situation through more equal participation in coffee production and marketing. Before participating in first activities and trainings, Alex and Rose were struggling with low productivity and poor quality of coffee produced. Unfortunately, this resulted in a low income, despite the hard work they put into it. At this time, Alex was the final decision maker and would control all their resources and assets. Rose and other family members would resort to selling coffee on the side at an even lower price to middle men to provide solvency and to ensure the possibility of making groceries or buying medicine. Within HRNS’ gender work, Rose and Alex have decided to work together as a family unit and to plan ahead on household incomes and expenditures. Together, they have drawn up a five-year household plan, they have renovated their house and have installed power. They have joined a credit and savings groups and have re-invested the benefits into their farm business: Growing cocoa and holding chicken and pigs allows them to diversify and increase their income. A new motorcycle enables them to transport their produce to the market. Together with other couples from the project, they have formed a local drama group in which they perform plays on how households can work together and decide jointly on how to use the proceeds from coffee. Alex and Rose no longer consider coffee as a man’s crop but as a family business.