Tanzania: Njombe Benefits From Le Programs

GROUPS of women in Ibumila Ward of Njombe District Council have embarked on a tree farming investment as a result of capital accumulation through the government's Livelihood Enhancement Programmes (LE).

LE programmes are part the government's development projects in Njombe Region, including income generating activities, which have been implemented by Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF).

Beneficiaries have been given some amounts of cash, through which the women formed the groups and exercised savings on weekly basis, hence accumulating the capital for the trees farming, among other types of investments.

They succeeded to purchase the land in which a total of about 10 acres have already been cultivated, with expectations of earning not less than 2m/-per acre, from next year.

The trees are specific for timber and poles (electricity infrastructures) production, according to Asante Women Group Chairperson, Ms Joyce Mafungu.

Loan and pay back system was also the group's capital accumulation method. The minimum amount for loaning is 10,000/-, wherein a loaner should contribute a-10 percent interest for any loaned amount, said the chairperson.

Apart from tree farming, the women have also interested in investing in livestock and agriculture activities, saying that their farm outputs increased following free availability of manures and other crop supporting material.

Commenting on other development to LE beneficiaries, the Chairperson for Atupyanye (literally translated 'as let us give each other') Women Group, Ms Maulidia Wikechi said that the programmes helped the members to improve their homes, on top of other necessary daily-up keep for their families, including meals.

"My husband abandoned me a couple of years back. He left us in a rundown mud and grass-thatched house. I wasn't able to even buy school uniforms for my children. They used to stay home until whenTASAF programmes started. They are now schooling and we managed to shift to this new house," she said, pointing at her new brick iron-sheet roofed house.

Income generating activities were part of the 4.05bn/ -government's development projects in Njombe Town and District Councils from 2015 to 2019, according to TASAF Monitoring Officer (TMO), Mr Revocatus Rugeiyamu.

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