Past Projects and Programmes Results

Cassava Production Enhancement Project (2005 – 2006)

Project Funders: TGT and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA)

Project Results:

In an effort to transfer innovation from university development centres to end-users, TGT collaborated with Sokoine University of Agriculture to help smallholder farmers increase cassava cultivation and utilization.

SUA developed technology that enabled farmers to process their cassava, for both human and livestock consumption, directly on their farms. We enabled the farmers to access this technology through affordable loans. Six farmer groups in the Coastal Region, representing about 120 smallholder farmers, benefited from the use of appropriate technology to enhance their products.

Zanzibar Fahari Handcraft Project(2009 – 2014)

Project Funders: TGT and Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Project Results:

The project supported a group of 12 women in Zanzibar who produce handcraft and beaded jewellery. The women received production training from an international craft design expert, and also received training on marketing strategies and linkages to markets. The women have registered their business as Fahari Enterprises and opened up a shop in Zanzibar’s Stone Town which is popular with tourists. The women have also been able to gain access to international markets.

Zanzibar Hurumzi Handcraft Project (2012 – 2017)

Project Funders: Alice Spencer (US professional painter and writer)

Project Results:

Based on Fahari Enterprises’ success, we supported another 12 women in Zanzibar who specialized in henna design and painting. The project helped the women to increase their henna painting skills and to open a gallery in Zanzibar’s Stone Town. The women registered as Hurumzi Art Gallery Company Limited and TGT helped to nurture their growth into a sustainable entity.

Tanzania Cotton Sector Development Programme (2007 – 2016)

Programme Funders: Gatsby Charitable Foundation, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and Conservation Agriculture Regional Programme (CARP)

Programme Partners: Tanzania Cotton Board, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, University of Dar es Salaam, Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA), and the Presidential Trust Fund

Programme Results:

The programme’s objective was to restructure Tanzania’s cotton sector to stimulate cotton production, increase household incomes along the cotton value chain, and set a foundation for an internationally competitive textile sector, in terms of industrial production and manufacturing.

It aimed to build supportive markets to ensure more than 400,000 farmers can access quality inputs and training to improve agronomy, increase yields and boost income.

The programme had many components and outcomes including:

  • Contract farming – whereby farmers received inputs, seeds and pesticides using loans from cotton ginners/processors and paid the loans at the end of the harvest season by selling their cotton to the ginners. Over 4,700 Farmer Business Groups, representing more than 300,000 farmers, entered into contracts with ginners and received inputs on credit. To overcome challenges with contract farming, we worked with local districts to strengthen systems for regulating ginner investments.
  • Conservation agriculture – the programme promoted the importance of best agricultural practices to help farmers improve the quality and quantity of their production. We trained a network of 1,700 lead farmers to disseminate conservation agriculture techniques to increase yields in cotton as well as other crops like maize, cowpea and jatropha. Lead farmers were also input distributors, netting in a collective input sales of US$ 1.9 million in a 12-month period from a base of zero. In addition, the programme provided various trainings to cotton inspectors from the Tanzania Cotton Board, ward Agriculture Extension Officers, and cotton extension staff from ginning companies.
  • Research – the programme supported the Tanzania Cotton Board and Ukiriguru Agricultural Research Institute to provide new and improved seed varieties, better pesticides and fertilizers, and new techniques for best agricultural practices.
  • Textile Development Unit (TDU) – this is a consulting unit set up in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in 2012 to help Tanzania’s textile and garment industry improve operational performance, reduce manufacturing costs, improve product quality and diversity, develop new markets and lobby for an improved business climate. The TDU helped mills like URAFIKI Limited, POLYTEX Limited and TABOTEX Limited to improve operational performance. It helped ginners to lobby for lower energy costs, especially from natural gas suppliers. It helped mills to work together so that items like warp yarn and grey fabric are now sourced locally. It encouraged fabric processing mills to diversify their production, adding fabric knitting and weaving. To promote foreign direct investment, the Unit set up an Investment Guide where local mills showcased their products. With an increased interest from West African traders seeking tie-and-dye, batik and hand-woven fabrics, the Unit also promoted local micro-producers of these fabrics.
  • Training – the programme facilitated the introduction of two university degrees in textile technology and fashion design at the University of Dar es Salaam to enable young graduates to tap into the fast growing fashion and textile industry. It also established a foundation course at the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) designed to establish an effective training programme for garment factories.


The Cotton Sector Development Programme has grown into a big enterprise and we have handed it over to Gatsby Africa to manage the scaled up programme.

Food Processors Credit Scheme for Women Project (2002 – 2010)

Project Funders: United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Project Partners: Tanzania Food Processors Association (TAFOPA) and Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO)

Project Results:

The project was a collaborative initiative established by UNIDO and TGT to create a credit scheme for women food processors who were members of TAFOPA.  The objective was to help the processors to improve their production, packaging and overall economic performance to encourage their transition from the informal sector into the formal agro-processing sector.

The women who participated in the project received training on business management and entrepreneurial skills, product quality improvement, as well as assistance in accessing appropriate food processing technology. About 108 women received loans of between US$ 5,000 and US$ 60,000 to improve their businesses through expansions and purchase of equipment, tools and packaging materials. Working as a group, the women were able to do bulk procurement of packaging materials and as a result, were able to improve the packaging and labelling of 200 of their products.

The project linked the food processing SMEs to key government institutions like the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), the Tanzania Food and Drug Authority (TFDA), and the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA), leading to 100 SMEs being accredited by TBS. The project also assisted the women to find markets for 200 of their products.

Pilot Housing Scheme Project (2005 – 2008)

Project Funders: Habitat for Humanity Tanzania (HFHT) and TGT

Project Partners: University of Dar es Salaam

Project Results:

The pilot project was a response to the housing needs of some beneficiaries in our other projects. TGT partnered with Habitat for Humanity Tanzania and the University of Dar es Salaam to pilot the building of low cost housing and providing them at an affordable price.

The pilot project created a prototype house built with sun-dried mud blocks in Mitakwani, Zanzibar. It also built 11 houses with sand cement blocks at Chaani in Zanzibar. The 11 houses were provided to low income families through a loan scheme.

Technology and Innovation Cluster Development Programme (2001 – 2009)

Programme Funders: McKnight Foundation and Ford Foundation

Programme Partners: University of Dar es Salaam College of Engineering and Technology, University of Dar es Salaam Entrepreneurship Centre, and Habitat for Humanity

Programme Results:

The programme was a collaborative initiative between TGT and the University of Dar es Salaam, designed to help SMEs to access appropriate technologies generated by the College of Engineering and Technology, through its Technology Development and Transfer Centre, and by the University Entrepreneurship Centre. The programme had four major areas:

  • Linking student projects to SMEs – The programme provided technological solutions to local SMEs while exposing engineering students to issues facing SMEs, and equipping the students with tools that would enable them to employ themselves after graduating from University. We supported over 86 undergraduate and postgraduate student projects that produced innovative technologies for the SME sector. A number of SMEs collaborated with the students in the development of the technologies. Many SMEs acquired new technology in cashewnut processing, cassava processing, post-harvest handling, milk processing, and drip irrigation.
  • SME Incubation–the programme implemented three business incubators in Kibaha, Morogoro and Lushoto to incubate upcoming young entrepreneurs; it also set up two food processing centres in Kibaha and Tanga. The incubators trained SMEs on food processing, irrigation systems, good farming practice and post-harvest handling. SMEs also received expert advice and linkages to microfinance institutions. The incubators turned into windows of opportunity for innovative linkages and networking for us as well as for microfinance institutions.
  • Development of technology for low cost housing – the programme helped to develop technology that enabled low-income earners to build affordable houses using locally available materials. This technology laid the groundwork for our low-cost housing initiative that we piloted in Zanzibar.
  • Gatsby Clubs – the programme established 10 SMEs Gatsby Clubs in Lake Zone in partnership with the College of Engineering and Technology of the University of Dar es Salaam. The Clubs brought together SME groups and enabled them to access resources, skills and knowledge in a central place. We provided loans to the Clubs to enable them to run their businesses, rent showrooms and attend trade fairs. Some of the clubs have evolved into self-sustaining entities.

As part of the programme, we conducted a nation-wide SMEs Needs Survey which identified the challenges that SMEs faced and how these challenges could be tackled.

Tanzania Tree Biotechnology Programme (2003 – 2014)

Programme Funders: Gatsby Charitable Foundation, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and Kilimo Trust

Programme Partners: Tanzania Forestry Research Institute, Mondi Forest of South Africa, and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAAA)

Programme Results:

The programme aimed to use tree cloning techniques to provide sustainable incomes for smallholder tree growers and other entrepreneur. In the longer term, the objective was to improve the large-scale production and distribution of several tree species, not only alleviating pressure from Tanzania’s natural forests, but also creating other opportunities like beekeeping and mushroom farming.

In its first phase, we conducted biotechnology research and established a tree cloning nursery in Tanga Region.  Trials in Tanzania’s six major ecosystems – coastal zone, lowlands, highlands, Miombo woodlands, arid/semi-arid, and Lake Zone – led to the identification of Eucalyptus hybrids as the ideal species.

In the second phase, we focused on the transfer and application of the developed biotechnology.  Smallholder tree growers and entrepreneurs from Pangani, Morogoro, Tanga, Handeni and Dar es Salaam were introduced to commercial forestry, enabling them to start and operate thriving businesses in clonal nurseries and supply of commercial tree planting materials.

The programme has successfully introduced tissue culture technology and clonal forestry biotechnology in Tanzania. This technology is now commercially available through private clonal nurseries set up by entrepreneurs.

In 2013 we helped the programme to register as a self-sustaining entity called Forest Development Trust. The Trust continues to improve forest production and conservation in Tanzania, working with key Government ministries, research institutions, universities and other stakeholder, all with the goal of improving the living standards of rural families in Tanzania.

Community Banks Association Project (2007 – 2012)

Project Funders: Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Project Results:

The project aimed to deepen access to financial services in rural areas by helping rural communities to establish community-owned financial structures. It was established after we received numerous requests from community banks for support. Our experience with the UPATU village banking systems greatly helped to inform our support to this project.

This initiative established the Community Banks Association (CBA), a microfinance bank association designed to promote rural financial deepening by supporting existing microfinance banks and facilitating the establishment of new ones. Set up as a separate legal entity, the Association received management support from TGT.

The Association helped existing community banks to overcome organizational limits such as the lack of internal auditors, staff training and IT support. It strengthened the relationship between existing community banks, and helped them to harmonize structures and systems.

For new community banks, the Association provided technical support to ease their start and reduce set up costs. This included assistance in carrying out feasibility studies, creating business plans, and supporting the transfer of structures, experiences and systems from more established community banks.

The Association helped to establish many community banks, including Community Bank of Arusha, Njombe Community Bank, Meru Community Bank, Kibo Community Bank, Morogoro Community Bank and Singida Yetu Community Bank.

The Community Banks Association later became the Community Banks Association of Tanzania (COBAT).

As part of our rural financial deepening strategy, we do continue supporting community-owned financial structures through equity participation. Currently we have invested Tzs 20 million in Mwanga Community Bank, Tzs 20 million in Meru Community Bank, and Tzs 100 million in Njombe Community Bank; we participate in all three banks as shareholders.

UPATU Women Credit Scheme Project (1997- 2009)

Project Funders: Ford Foundation

Project Results:

To promote financial inclusion, we carried out research in 1997 on the traditional rotating credit and savings schemes operated by women, which is locally known as Upatu, Kibati or Mchezo.  The findings helped us to establish special credit schemes for women in Rukwa and Mwanga. Due to the successful operation of these women’s scheme, we extended the facility to other women’s groups in Masasi, Zanzibar and Pemba.

More than 7,000 women benefited from the loan scheme. Apart from credit, the women also benefited from business management training that helped them to manage their income generating activities better.  Two of the women’s groups in Zanzibar formed legal entities based on the credit scheme model.

The UPATU project helped to shape our thinking on support to Community Banks, which later led to our establishment of the Community Bank Association.

Entrepreneurship Training and Capacity Building Project (2005 – 2008)

Project Funders: Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Project Partners: University of Dar es Salaam Entrepreneurship Centre and Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO)

Project Results:

The objective of the project was to develop tailor-made training programmes to build the capacity of entrepreneurs in the areas of management and skills development. Two training manuals were developed to address specific needs of SMEs. A total of 1,832 SMEs were trained in entrepreneurship, credit management, use of appropriate technology, and technology knowledge transfer. TGT provided tools and equipment worth US$ 40,000 to improve the quality of training and to also assist the entrepreneurs in self-employment.

The project supported the creation of three SME associations – Mwanga Association of Small Producers (UWAMWA), Mtwara Small Enterprise Development Association (MSEDA), and Zanzibar Association of Small Scale Producers (UWAZI).

Youth Empowerment Project (1995 – 2000)

Project Funders: Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Project Partners: Chanjale Vocational School, Usangi Vocational Centre, Mtwara Technical Secondary School

Project Results:

The project helped youth to increase their entrepreneurial skills by working with private and church vocational and trade schools. Specifically, the project worked with Chanjale Vocational School ran by the Same Diocese in Mwanga distict, Usangi Vocational Centre, and Mtwara Technical secondary School. In partnership with all these vocational centres, we helped to establish youth groups according to various skills – motor mechanics, welding, carpentry, masonry, plumbing and tailoring.

Through the groups we equipped the youth with entrepreneurship training, tools, and working capital to enable them to establish businesses. Guaranteed by the centres, hundreds of youth were able to borrow through a specialised micro-credit window to increase their working capital and generate profits. Youths participating in this programme were able to use the skills acquired at the vocational centres to become successful self-employed entrepreneurs.

Mikindani Market Project (2000 – 2010)

Project Funders: Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Project Results:

The objective of the project was to provide working premises for SMEs in Mtwara. Between 2000 and 2003 the project converted the old Mikindani Slave Market into mini-workshops, providing much needed work space for SMEs. After the conversion, we oversaw the running of the Market until 2010.