Muyowirude is the name of a small development group led by women in the village of Thawi Chini in Kondoa district. Kevin Curley went to meet them in March. It’s a tough journey by motorbike for 30 miles from Kondoa and involved wading through a flooded river. The village is in an arid area where the maize crop is vulnerable to drought. All the women grow sunflowers which cope well with arid conditions. Seeds are pressed to make cooking oil for their own use and for sale. They explained to Kevin Curley that the nearest pressing machine was 19 miles away, a difficult journey often undertaken on foot. By purchasing hand operated pressing and filtering machines for the viilages of Thawi Chini and Thawi Juu it was clear we could help the women to increase their incomes.
Our local representative, Ezekiel Kassanga commented ‘The idea is good and I hope it will work to emancipate the women and other community members. It may help to solve the problem which is also in Maswa. Buyers from big towns are coming during harvest time to buy farmers products wholesale and leave the growers empty and suffering. In turn they start importing products which can be locally processed or manufacture. It will help to increase the value of their products. Instead of selling seeds they can sell well filtered and packed oil.’