Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nutrition brings in the money

Story by: Mercy Chakoma
Food Security & Nutrition Officer, TL Project

Employment is becoming scarcer in Malawi. Many people are trying their best to utilize the resources available to them, such as small home garden crops, to help generate income for their households. When soya bean seeds were distributed in Tsogolo Labwino Project impact areas, the beneficiaries were happy to access free seed but worried about its limited popularity. Even though they were told that they would receive trainings in how to grow and produce various products they could not believe that soya could so useful in improving their livelihoods.

When the nutrition trainings began not many people participated, choosing to instead continue with their daily household chores. This was discouraging. However, since then people have started to realize the benefits of using different crops and learning different recipes. Tadala Juma is one of those people receiving great benefits from soya beans.

Tadala was struggling to help her husband provide for their family. She therefore, decided to utilize two recipes that she learnt from the nutrition trainings: soya milk and soya coffee. Acting swiftly, she started making soya milk which was selling at 50 kwacha, half the price of cow’s milk. She also sold the coffee at the same price. Tadala marketed and sold her soya milk to tea room owners who also increased their profit base. After one month of producing these products, she raised 48, 000 kwacha.

Tadala then bought a piece of land at 15,000 kwacha and used the remaining money to buy basic needs for her baby and to pay school fees for her son who is in form 1.

Tadala is very thankful to ADRA through Tsogolo Labwino project and said, “the good future (which is what Tsogolo Labwino means) would be realized long after the project but I am already enjoying the good future whilst the project is still operating.”

Through her obvious success Tadala was elected by her community to be a community facilitator for nutrition. Through her new role she is able to encouraging her fellow women to use soya and to make and sell various products. Her influence and success is helping other women provide for their families and to improve their livelihoods.

The success of this project can be seen through the sharing and implementation of knowledge, knowledge that is providing people with income to improve their livelihoods.

A simple soya bean can make a big difference.

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