YAP proposal #189: Agriculture is Sexy! (Mariam Senn, Tanzania)

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“The Agriculture is Sexy Project”- A project to demonstrate to the African youth how to engage and make money from soy bean processing!

Are you are a Millennial (30 or under)? Are you tired of being unemployed, despite your qualifications? Do you want to make money fast and benefit your community at the same time?

Agribusiness and the food industry in Africa is one of the fastest ways for the youth to gain a livelihood and benefit their communities. The challenge is that the youth in Africa have a negative perception of agriculture and related businesses. It is my goal to demonstrate to the millions of youth in Africa, Tanzania in particular that agriculture is ‘cool’ and you can make a good living with ‘little’ effort.

I am Mariam Senn. I am 26 years old from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I pursued a Bachelor of Geography and Environmental studies. After my studies I decided to join the Tanzania Youth Agripreneurs (TYA), at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). At IITA we are trained to turn agricultural products into profitable business ventures.

As part of this group I have been trained in the value chains of different agricultural products and we have launched businesses in the following value chains: soybeans, cassava, vegetables, and farm management practices. In addition to launching new agribusiness ventures, the group wants to become a model group for other youth to learn and start their own enterprises.

Over the past year, I have clearly seen the potential agriculture holds for providing livelihood for a young person like me and my community, especially through soybean processing.

This project is based on the use of the Soy Sow machine to process soybean into soy milk, and later to produce soy yoghurt and soy snacks (cakes, buns, cookies, etc.), and packaging and selling.

I choose soybean because it is cheaper and easier to produce and it is also good for your health! It is rich in a number of micronutrients, including: magnesium, iron, and calcium. It is also rich in protein and contains no cholesterol.

Soybean production and processing is already a profitable business for us. As a group, the TYA have been given the Soy Cow machine by IITA and have already started production and processing of soy products and market to clients.

With just 1 kg of soybeans one may be able to produce five litres of soy milk and 1litre is sold at a price of TSH 15,000 (USD $7.00) and the same is true for yogurt production. We currently produce about 61 bottles (330 ml each) per week and our goal is to double this to reach new clients.

One important aspect of our business approach is that nothing goes to waste: the soybean residue (Okara) from making milk and yoghurt can be used for making bites or as chicken feed, which brings in additional revenue and it is good for the environment.

soy cow machine

The success of the project will be measured by the income generated from our soybean products. We estimate that we will be able to generate a minimum of TSH 98 million (USD 45,000) per year. We will also measure our outreach effort to other young people, by the new youth trained, and new agribusiness start-ups.

I am applying for this USD 5,000 grant because I would like to expand our existing activities in soymilk and yoghurt production. This grant will allow the team and I to try this new client base, especially kindergarten schools and hospitals.

We would also like to build an online presence for marketing and sales of our food products. We see the online presence as our link to various social media outlets, which is critical for marketing, and for showing other young people that agriculture does not always involve ‘digging dirt’. It can be classy and easy!!

My cost breakdown includes:

  • USD 2,000 will be invested to cultivate soy bean so as to ensure constant supply of raw materials
  • While waiting, USD 1,000 will be used to buy soybean from local farmers
  • USD 1,500 will be spent on packaging
  • USD 500 will be spent on marketing of products, which will includes an online presence.

Thank you! Asante! Merci! Grazie!

 

Blogpost and picture submitted by Mariam Senn (Tanzania): mariamsenn[at]yahoo.com

The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.

 

This post is published as proposal #189 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:

  • Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
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Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!

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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.


127 thoughts on “YAP proposal #189: Agriculture is Sexy! (Mariam Senn, Tanzania)

  1. Hello mariam! You have an interisting project there. I would like to ask some question

    How is the condition of soybean cultivation in your place? Who is the main player of the soybean cultivation in your area? Is it farmer or firm? How wide farm land usually a farmer own? How much soybean you usually produce per hectare?

    Actually i still want to ask you lots of question since i really interest in soybean cultivation abroad. Would you mind to contact me by mail? I woul be happy to know more about your project.

    Best,
    Fitriani saputra

    1. Hi Fitrian,

      Soybean is grown from the lowland to upland tropics and it tolerates moderately acid soils and short term drought.

      Much of Tanzania is suitable for soybean cultivation but it is mostly grown in southern highlands of the country and if the farm is well managed the productivity will be 1.5 to 1.6 tons per ha.

      Soy bean is mostly grown by small holder farmers under rain fed conditions, their farm size ranges from 1 to 2 acres, there are also few big producers who are doing contract farming they are entering into contract with small farmers , they provide them with inputs and later they buy all the produce. Feel free to contact me on mariamsenn@yahoo.com

      Regards,
      Mariam.

  2. This is great project, and demonstrates that young people can indeed get involved in agriculture. I vote this project

  3. This is very good idea and most people will be benefiting from soybeans products due to its nutritional benefit value. It is really a wonderful project for Income generation as well as for ending malnutrition and unemployment as well.Good luck Miss. Mariam Senn.

    1. Thanks veronika,
      Soy products are good source of protein, they are easy to produce and they can be very useful in areas where other sources of protein are unavailable or too expensive.

  4. The project is very relevant since it very profitable(source of income) and also this is important for the healthier societies because soybeans products it may contain vitamins.
    Therefore it very important for responsible sponsor to support that project to develop,in Tanzania if you support this group you will resque a big number of youth who suffered a lot due to serious problem of unemployment.
    Thanks!
    Spensa CL
    Rural Development Specialist,Morogoro-Tanzania.

  5. Great project! If you can get schools and hospitals interested in buying your products, your agribusiness has excellent growth potential. The beauty of it is that, in addition to providing jobs to the youth and reviving their interest in agriculture, it improves the nutrition and diets of children and patients.

  6. She is doing good in her activities and so much aggressive to tackle existing challenges, if supported she will never let us down. Well done Mariam, Support youth agriculture is everything in life. When you invest in agriculture by supporting youth, you save the world today, current and the coming generation.

  7. I am very interested with this Idea, It shows how agriculture can improve the livelihood of youth through its value addition. soybean is the nutritious product so invest on that, transfer the knowledge of soybean for the benefit of the world. Due to this I think Malnutrition will a history
    All the best Miss Mariam

  8. Heloo mariam… I appreciate your effort. But when I think of “sexy” it reminds me a pleasure for short period of time. As you know Agriculture needs patience and waiting. you can’t bring joy quickly like you do in “Sexy” stuffs. Therefore you have to clarify more to aware people how sexy and agriculture goes together. Go mariam.
    Regards

    1. Abrhame,

      I referred the soy processing project as a sexy project because of how cheaper and easier it can be done one can process soybean even by using local means with the tools available in their surrounding and yet be able to sell and generate income also there is quick return in just a short period of time if you invest on this business, refer to my project above how much money one can make out of just 1 kg of soy beans.

  9. Hello Mariam! Very nice project. I have a suggestion- you mentioned that IITA provided you with the processing machine, so do I understand correctly that you did not incur the cost for this machine? I recommend that when you consider the profitability of your business and further expansion you include the cost of this machine in your overall business model. This will help you to get an a more accurate picture of profitability and feasibility over time as an independent business.

    I like in your proposal that you are both trying to have this viable soymilk/soy yogurt business, but simultaneously trying to shed light on the agriculture business and encourage more youth to find employment in this sector.

    Good luck!

  10. in deed it is a good idea youth we need to enter in the agriculture sector to get rid of the unemployment issue. big up Tanzania agripreneurs

  11. What a nice initiative trying to demonstrate the potential agricultural activities present to the youth. I have no doubt that the youth in Tanzania and else where will learn a great deal and benefit from this and other similar numerous initiatives as yours.

    ” For sure, a plow never disappoints a farmer”!!..

    Well done! Keep it up and keep it alive Mariam, your project is a WINNER for us @ MEDA.

  12. What a nice initiative trying to demonstrate the potential agricultural activities present to the youth. I have no doubt that the youth in Tanzania and else where will learn a great deal and benefit from this and other numerous similar initiatives as yours.
    ” For sure, a plow never disappoints a farmer!”

    Well done Mariam! Keep it up and keep it alive..Your project is a Winner for us @ MEDA.

  13. What a nice initiative trying to demonstrate the potential agricultural activities present to the youth. I have no doubt that the youth in Tanzania and else where will learn a great deal and benefit from this and other numerous similar initiatives as yours.

    ” For sure, a plow never disappoints a farmer”.. Well done Mariam, keep it up and keep it alive!
    Your project is a WINNER for us @ MEDA.

  14. What a nice initiative trying to demonstrate the potential agricultural activities present to the youth. I have no doubt that the youth in Tanzania and else where will learn a great deal and benefit from this and other numerous similar initiatives as yours.

    ” For sure, a plow never disappoints a farmer”.. Well done Mariam, keep it up and keep it alive!
    Your project is a WINNER.

  15. For sure we need more creative and daring young women like you mariam. This project on soy bean is superb! I wish all the best for you!

  16. For sure we need more creative and dedicated young women like you. This project on soy bean production is superb! I wish all the best for you!

  17. What a great idea! Investing in this project is worthwhile. Should support be given, the venture will bring impact not only to youths but also to the community at large through increased supply of soy-based products which are proven to be highly nutritious. Well done Mariam!

  18. Well done!! Creativity is the only thing that would make you successful in life. I’ll be there to support you in one or another way

  19. You have shown the way to the youth through your determination especially in agriculture despite all the challenges. I believe youth will get inspired through this to change their perceptions in agriculture and turn it into a great opportunity. Congratulations Mariam!

  20. That is great idea, raw soy beans are in the market in Tanzania, your project contributes to value addition, job creation, improving health, inspire young people to join agribusiness and will contributes to poverty eradication among youth and smallholders soy producers.

  21. its encouraging especially for unemployed youths in Tanzania. I am inspired i would like to know more about your team will contact you Mariam.

  22. Thanks for the Great project Sure,it is up to us(Youth) to change our attitude and exploit many available opportunities which are present in the Agriculture sector.
    I hope Agriculture is the good way that can tackle the issue of youth unemployment which is all over the world as
    Agriculture has shown its readiness to facilitate the youth-preneurship.
    keep it up msela, i wish u great success.
    AND remember dat GOOD things happen to good people and ur the ONE.

  23. THAnks for the great project and new ideas i rly apprcate it
    Sure,it is up to us(Youth) to change our attitude and exploit many available opportunities which are present in the Agriculture sector.
    I hope Agriculture is the good way that can tackle the issue of youth unemployment which is all over the world as Agriculture has shown its readiness to facilitate the youth-preneurship.
    i wish u all da best msela,,
    AND remember dat good things happen to good people & ur the ONE.
    keep it up.

  24. THAnks for the great project and new ideas i rly apprcate it
    Sure,it is up to us(Youth) to change our attitude and exploit many available opportunities which are present in the Agriculture sector.
    I hope Agriculture is the good way that can tackle the issue of youth unemployment which is all over the world as Agriculture has shown its readiness to facilitate the youth-preneurship.
    i wish u all da best msela,,
    AND remember dat good things happen to good people & ur the ONE.
    keep it up.

  25. I can not but agree with you on your postulation. And I think your initiative will go a long way in encouraging our youth into local production of agricultural produce as well as enable us (Africa ) have a sustaining food Security, if widely embrace.

  26. what a fantastic project!!!!…’AGRICULTURE IS SEXY” in deed u made the ignored sexiest youth Agriculture to have new eyes on it…well i will be the first one to approach The sexiest Agriculture…in love with the project…so insipirational

  27. Value addition is the way to go in Agriculture. Your initiative is achievable. I work with soybean farmers and many times they are not informed on how to utilize this nutritious legume. I believe the through such initiatives farmers will be encouraged to grow more and increase household utilization.

  28. WOW! what a fantastic , “Agriculture is sexy”, i think it’s the time now for this forgotten sexiest youth(Agriculture) to be the talk of town by youth themselves, the project is so eye-candy, and am impressed and inspired…keep it up Mariam!

  29. Its good project especially for youth who want to be entrepreneur as it does not require much capital and the raw materials are easily available.
    Furthermore this are food substances which are good for our health hence generating a health generation for betterment of the nation and world at large.
    This project is good as it will also contribute to increase of income at both individual level and national level as once the products are sold an individual will obtain some money and nation also gains income through the tax which will be paid once the products are sold.
    Congratulations for
    Good idea Mariam

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