Growing a Family and a Farm
Written by Plant With Purpose on July 22, 2014 in General
Not long ago, the simple staple crops of corn, beans, and leafy greens surrounded Enaeli Nikundwe’s modest hillside home. With little economic opportunity in their community of Mweteni, Tanzania, she and her husband earned a meager income by selling the bundles of bananas that grew on the steep slopes of their small plot of land. As a mother, Enaeli was unsure of what the future held for her children. Because they had no money to spend, school was out of the realm of possibility for her kids.
Desperate to provide a more hopeful future for his family, Enaeli’s husband joined a Plant With Purpose community-based savings group. Plant With Purpose uses these groups as a platform for other programs, and he soon received training in sustainable farming techniques. He and Enaeli decided to implement these methods on their own land. A little competition proved healthy for their marriage (and their farm!) as the two set out to see how much they could accomplish on their small plot. They terraced the sloping hillside to prevent further erosions, built up double dug garden beds, and planted large grevilles trees to line their property. Cordia trees added nitrogen to the soil, while napier grass anchored the soil and provided feed for animals.
As their farm and income grew, the Nikundwes invested in cows. Enaeli shares, “From the cows we have added a new income generating activity where we get 8 liters of milk for sale. The money we get from [selling the] milk covers family expenses.”
By implementing lessons learned from Plant With Purpose, the Nikundwe family now harvests vegetables twice a year. Banana production has doubled. By selling surplus vegetables, bananas, and milk they earn over $850 (the GNI in Tanzania is $530).
It is with excitement that Enaeli explains, “Having Plant With Purpose in our community is a blessing since it has been an eye opener to most community members … those who implement [Plant With Purpose programs] seriously, at the end of the day improve their life. With my previous income I didn’t expect to manage the costs for a university student, but with Plant With Purpose’s trainings I now see open doors for my family.”
Enaeli credits God for having enough food to eat and extra for income generation. She shares that the projects her family started brought her closer to Him. We join her in praising God that this family in Tanzania has a dream for their future.