Juma Makole: A Tanzanian Farmer’s Green Evolution in Agriculture

Musoma – At the heart of Tanzania’s Mara region, farmer and livestock keeper Juma Makole once grappled with formidable irrigation constraints, curbing his agrarian aspirations. Yet, in a transformative shift during 2021, the winds changed direction for him courtesy of TAMFI’s renewable energy endeavor.

Facilitated by a loan from Enokwe Microfinance, affiliated with TAMFI, Makole incorporated solar technology into his agricultural practice. The acquisition of a solar panel and pump heralded a watershed moment, propelling him from manually irrigating a three-quarter-acre expanse to autonomously nurturing a sprawling five-acre tract. Operational overheads plummeted, as labor-intensive irrigation transitioned into other agricultural tasks like planting and weeding.

This renewable integration not only rejuvenated his crop yields but also breathed new life into his livestock endeavors. A burgeoning livestock count of 150 goats and 80 cows stands testimony to his escalated profits.

Financially, his green investment was anchored by a 1,300,000-shilling loan, repaid over 24 months with 50,000-shilling monthly installments. Ensuring due diligence, Enokwe Microfinance leveraged his farm and the solar apparatus as collateral, periodically monitoring Makole’s journey.

The dividends from his solar investment were multifold. Year-round farming became a tangible reality, and livestock hydration during arid stretches was no longer a concern. This stood in stark contrast to his peers, some of whom grappled with livestock losses.

Makole’s narrative underscores the transformative prowess of renewable energy in agricultural revitalization. Beyond mere productivity enhancement and cost optimization, it symbolizes an improved quality of life.

Echoing these sentiments, TAMFI’s CEO accentuated the significance of renewable energy in amplifying agrarian output and uplifting small-scale farmers’ lives. “Our endeavor at TAMFI,” she stated, “is to champion renewable energy financing. It’s paramount that more agriculturists, akin to Juma, are ushered into an era of clean, dependable, and economical energy. This not only accelerates economic progress but paves the way for a sustainable Tanzanian future.”

She further emphasized, “Through associations like Enokwe Microfinance, TAMFI is unwavering in its mission to eradicate poverty, orchestrating financial conduits for renewable solutions. Makole’s journey epitomizes the monumental impact of green financing on productivity and lifestyle betterment.”

This narrative is an extract from the “Energy Access: Building an Innovative Financial Ecosystem for Enterprises and End Users” initiative, championed by TAMFI with the C.S. Mott Foundation’s backing. This project endeavors to enlighten financial establishments and pertinent stakeholders about decentralized renewable energy’s transformative potential, harmonizing productivity with economic viability.