Each year throughout the 2Seeds Network, Project Coordinators are tasked with setting quarterly goals. These goals help PCs stay focused on advancing the most pressing needs of their group members, as well as allow friends, family, and investors to follow the paths being forged within the projects. Goals are broken up into four different quarters; the first quarter lasts from the first of August until the end of October. The following are the Bungu Project’s Q1 goals.
1. Open an official bank account for group savings.
Over the last year, the Bungu Project’s partners have done an exceptional job growing their group savings. Each month, members pay 5,000 shilingi into what is known as the “akiba,” allowing their collective assets to grow ever stronger. Under the guidance of last year’s Project Coordinators, the akiba grew by leaps and bounds, and as of right now, the partners have accrued over 1,000,000 shilingi! Opening an official bank account is a natural next step, one that will take a great deal of time and patience as we work within the bounds of a sometimes confusing banking structure. Not only will this account legitimize and protect the group savings, but it will also shine as a symbol of progress, progress that has been made toward attaining greater flexibility, opportunity, and resilience for the Bungu Project.
2. Ensure each partner earns 50,000 shilingi from group sales.
On a weekly basis, our partners in Bungu fulfill crop orders for buyers in Korogwe and Dar es Salaam. These are exciting sales opportunities that allow group members not only to reach new markets but also to grow their personal finances. The overall numbers of the group sales in these markets have appeared strong throughout the last year, but now it’s time to focus on making sure each partner is living up to their full earning potential. During Q1, we will work with our partners to foster more consistent planting and harvesting as well as assist the members with agricultural trainings, crop grading, time management, and group leadership and organization. As we focus on these areas, the hope is that the partners will feel confident in taking the initiative to maintain a consistent supply to buyers as well as a consistent cash flow into their pockets.
3. Cultivate leadership roles through empowerment training.
Bungu is fortunate to have a group of incredibly ambitious, hard-working partners. Four of these partners have been appointed to positions of leadership throughout the years, and to ensure these leaders keep moving forward, we want to see that they are given the proper tools and encouragement to grow personally and professionally. In order to foster this growth, we will hold several formal, as well as informal, meetings with group leaders. During these meetings, not only will we begin a constructive dialogue, delving deeper into leadership strengths and weaknesses, but we will also use these meetings as a time to grow personal relationships with and among group leadership. As relationships and skill sets are advanced, the Bungu Project as a whole will be driven to new heights by the strength of it’s leadership structure.
4. Develop plan for implementation of organic agriculture.
Organic agriculture has a promising market throughout Tanzania, especially in ex-pat communities in Dar es Salaam. Organic agriculture can also reduce production costs for the partners. Commercial inputs are a huge drain on finances, and many organic inputs can either be found in native vegetation or purchased inexpensively. By the end of Q1, we will have developed an action plan for implementation of organic farming practices throughout the project. This plan will be developed in concert with Bungu’s partners and advisors, the Ground Team Staff, as well with the area’s agricultural extension officer, Martin. Leading up to this transition, Martin will host a series of organic best practices refresher trainings with the partners, as well as assist with organic zucchini test plots. We are excited for the challenges and opportunities that the transition to organic will bring, and with organic crops fetching more than double the price at market, there is promise that this switch from traditional to organic farming will put our partners in a solid position to advance toward greater income security.
Stay tuned for updates on how these goals are progressing!