Our women’s empowerment supply chain work, which enables impoverished farming women in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania to supply local hotels with their produce, continues to inspire. Farmer Dativa Frank Elia’s story is typical. She is now a member of the Wamboma Coop, which is managed by the women farmers and is making a significant impact on the lives of its members. Since joining the Cooperative, she has made incredible progress in her farming career and improved the lives of not only herself but also her four children.
Dativa and her husband started farming 20 years ago, but because of cultural gender norms, she was more focused on being a homemaker and taking care of her family than farming. This is unusual in the industry, as women make up a large proportion of small-scale farmers in non-industrialised countries. However, in September 2022, the Empowering Women Farmers Through Tourism team chose her village to work with the most marginalised and impoverished of its women to empower and train them in organic farming methodologies, enabling them to become decision-makers and business owners in the new co-op. Since then, she has cultivated African eggplant on her one-hectare farm and is currently cultivating cucumber.
Dativa’s hard work has paid off, and she can now expect to earn up to 1.7 million Tanzanian shillings (approximately £600) with her African eggplant harvest and about 3 million Tanzanian shillings from her cucumbers. She is thrilled about the results and is really thankful that she is a member of the Wamboma Co-op. She has also learned to keep her books, save, become a skilled farmer, and now receives good market prices and profits as she sells through the Wamboma shop in town. Dativa has also emphasised how she now feels empowered and confident about enforcing her rights, thanks to the legal aid and counselling training that is also provided as an integral part of the project.
It’s just wonderful to know that women like Dativa are breaking gender norms and making strides in the agriculture industry. At Equality in Tourism, we believe in empowering women to achieve their full potential in all spheres of life, including the social and economic fields. Dativa’s success is a testament to the fact that with the right training, resources, and support, women can rise to new opportunities and exceed patriarchal expectations.
Read more about our Tanzania project here.