Soap and Watermelons in Dar es Salaam
Updated: Nov 7, 2018
We have supported two start-up enterprises by a youth organisation in Dar es Salam. The first one was soap-making which had a good start but then had to go into abeyance because the new President made it mandatory for any business which handles chemicals to have a licensed qualified chemist working in the business and for all small businesses to register for taxes. A new business plan is now being put together to work out the economics to incorporate these new costs. This new compliance requirement has had the effect of stifling entrepreneurship particularly amongst the young as it is an extra hurdle to cross when trying to get started.
Meanwhile the second group of 4 young men and 6 young girls have started a pilot plot to test the viability of growing water melons. Water melons are in high demand in Dar because it is very hot and they provide a welcome drink.
They have dug 185 holes in sandy soil and are applying manure and water to each hole and have planted 3 melons in each one. Cow dung from within and outside of the community is being used to create the medium for growth and water retention. Each hole is expected to yield twelve full grown market size melons for sale after four months. They are expecting 2,220 melons. Each melon will sell for £1.20 The group have challenges of keeping the melons watered and security of the melon patch. They will sell locally to start with but later hope to supply government markets which will required a license. They are intercropping with pumpkins which grow far faster and can all be sold before the melons are ready.
The main achievement so far is the way the team is working together with energy and enthusiasm.
The leaders of this group have attended the Afrinspire Young Leaders conference in Uganda, and three of our young leaders from Uganda has visited this organisation to run training workshops in IT and Enterprise to help them to develop their ideas.