Get 30 Tanzanian women farming for their future

By Equality in Tourism

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Most of us expect to travel, go on holiday and see the world around us. Tanzania welcomes 500,000 tourists each year, from honeymooners and wildlife photographers in the Serengeti to the hikers and adventures facing Mount Kilimanjaro. Between these two tourist hotspots there are more than 250 hotels.

But what happens when you spend your whole life in one of these once-in-a-lifetime destinations, yet can’t afford to take your family to the doctor, or buy fertilizer to farm your land?

This is the truth for many Tanzanian women and their families. 

The vast majority of people living in Tanzania are involved in farming in some way, producing fresh fruit, vegetables and grains to sell at market. In spite of this, almost none the tourist hotels buy their ingredients locally or source their supplies from the communities around them.

For many, farming is their only source of income and these women are often the main breadwinner, main caregiver, and main home-maker all rolled into one. Yet, women in Tanzania have very little power either at home or in their community.

We need you to join our tribe of change-makers and invest in a new way for these women. A new way for these communities, and a new way for the tourism industry to add value and help sustain the country around them.

Women farmers in Tanzania are living in extreme poverty, earning what they can by selling small produce at market by the bucket, the bushel or the bunch. The competition is high and the reliability of income poor.

With a booming tourist industry all around them, there are enough visitors wanting local and fresh produce to grow the farming community and provide for all of these families’ needs. Yet, local hotels do not buy from these women as they struggle to predict and regulate their crops. These women and their livelihoods, are at the mercy of fluctuating price wars, incoming pests or diseases and they still have to fetch water by the bucket to irrigate their fields. Our exciting new pilot project intends to change this.

Kickstarting this transformation with a small community in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, our local partners will train, mentor, and empower 30 women farmers. Enthusiastic, untrained and wannabe entrepreneurs, these farmers will learn how to farm, store and sell their produce more effectively. This will enable them to build their business more efficiently and widely, whilst empowering these women to become stronger decision-makers, with greater financial stability, both at home and in their communities.

This crowdfunding project will seed-fund the first six-month phase of this training and development. The new cooperative will also support these women with childcare during their training, freeing them up to learn and develop their skills faster and more easily.

Learning to tap into the wide tourism market of hotels and tour operators in their area, these newly skilled farmers will prove that by working together they can create a farming and business collective that will serve fresh, reliable, and locally grown produce to at least 20 of these hotels who have already expressed a keen interest. Creating powerful and lasting partnerships, increasing the reliability of their income, and providing locally grown food for the thousands of tourists that visit their town each year.

If successful, we will learn with these women and take this innovative concept to more farming communities in tourism hotspots across Tanzania. Together, we can ensure that more people like you and me, all of us who travel the world, can eat fresh, eat local, and truly give back to the communities we visit.

These are proud women and determined farmers. They know what they want - a better future for their children. They want their own brick house, a toilet at home, electricity, running water, school books and uniforms for their children. They want to be in control of how they make their money, and they want to have more of a say in how they live their lives. Together, we can help them get there.

Living with her elderly husband, grown up daughters, three grandchildren, in laws and her son, Scholastica has 10 mouths to feed, clothe and look after on a daily basis, with only a little financial help from the others.

Having grown coriander and lemongrass for some time now, Scholastica struggles to maintain the quality of her produce and price can fluctuate substantially. She is very optimistic about the project as she is looking forward to learning modern ways of farming and having access to a network of women like herself.

She hopes to increase her daily income and therefore be able to take care of her husband, children and grandchildren better. She also would love a farm of her own and to reconstruct her mud house which is falling apart.

We are looking for changemakers. People, like you and me, who have opened our eyes to the world around us and want to invest our time, energy, and money in something that will make a real difference. For those of us who enjoy going on holiday AND want that to have a positive impact on the communities we visit, these farmers in Tanzania offer an exciting opportunity for positive change now and in the future.

We have influential individuals, hotels, businesses and tourism brands who have already committed to this solution  - we'd love you join us!

  • Training 30 women to farm more effectively
  • Training 30 women to better manage and save their money and run their new cooperative
  • Empowering 30 women to build a business and plan for their families future more easily
  • Engaging with at least 20 local hotels on how to access better, fresher, more locally sourced vegetables and produce for their guests

  • Enabling these women farmers to build a strong and reliable business for their futures.
  • Building strong working relationships between these farmers and the hotels in their area.
  • Disrupting the current supply-chain process between farmer and tourist industry to ensure a more sustainable and thoughtful future for us all
  • Pilot a new way of working - creating a proof of concept and a lot of learning to take to other tourist areas once we have succeeded in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania

I’m Dr. Tricia Barnett, I co-founded Equality in Tourism as a way to create grassroots led change within the tourism industry and the communities it affects. Over more than 20 years, I have been involved with community change and sustainable tourism projects in India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Nepal, The Gambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Peru, Ecuador, Solomon Islands.

For the last two years I’ve invested my love, attention, time, and personal money into the community of Malisita - I fell in love with Tanzania and her people as they are just so hospitable, thoughtful, funny, bright, interested, and respectful.

Led by the lives, needs and determination of the women in Malisita, we have formed a plan of training, growth and connection that will transform the way in which they approach both their own small businesses and farming as a community.

Over my career I’ve seen such a disconnect between the tourism industry and communities who actually live in these regions. There is so much potential for mutually beneficial and lasting partnerships here and we anticipate that this project will be self-sufficient within two years.

  • £5 - Thank you! You win you a place in our hearts and our land at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro (unlimited hearts to be won)
  • £12 - You will supply much-needed new hybrid seeds for these women farmers to start sowing the ground and earning for their families’ future (unlimited seeds to be sown)
  • £25 - A huge thank you! Your gift will buy the equipment each farmer needs to ensure her newly grown produce will have the quality and consistency required by the hotels, making sure that they continue to buy from the women in the cooperative. (30 phones and satellite chargers need to be bought)
  • £77 - Thank you! By investing in us, you will help train each woman to save their money, buy books and uniforms for school, and build for their future. (30 women need to be trained)
  • £250- Your donation is enough to pay for ten of these women's childen to be looked after by a nursery nurse, allowing their mum's to concentrate, practice, and learn.
  • £1,170 - Your investment will make sure that two of our women have six full months of training, advice and support to kickstart their farms and new business.
  • £8,300 - Thank you so much. Your gift will enable our local partner to run the whole project, for all 30 women, for three of our planned six months. This will make a huge difference to the lives of the women, their families and the community as a whole.

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Team Members

Tricia Barnett

Elizabeth Minde

Julia Clements Roche

Kate Simon

Peter Bishop

Samantha Woolven

Sarah Junker

Stroma Cole

Stuart Nathan