In November, Cheetah distributed input loans to potato farmers. We just expanded into four new villages that are receiving access to these kinds of loans for the first time! Listen to what Sophia Mandanda, a farmer and primary school teacher from the village of Luhindo, had to say about her engagement with Cheetah:
"There is big difference with the way I practice farming now [that I am working with Cheetah] and before. For example in the use of fertilizer, I used to mix-up different kind of fertilizers together i.e. DAP, NPK and ASP and then I apply them on my farm with the expectations of getting better results. At the end during harvest I didn't get good harvest as I was expecting. Also getting a better seeds of potato was another big challenge that I was facing, but now Cheetah has made it so easy with the loan of inputs that they are providing to us.
Through Cheetah's help of better seeds and agronomy training I have been able to increase my yield, because now I know how to use fertilizer properly, how to plant the potato seeds on my farm (like what is the distance from plant to plant, and from one line of plants to another), and planting on time.
Now I have become more interested in farming because I have realized that if I focus more on farming I will earn more than I earn from teaching job, also the skills that I obtain from Cheetah I have been teaching it to my students in the extra curriculum activities."
Teachers are extremely poor in Tanzania so the chance to make income on their farm can mean the difference between staying and teaching or leaving. The attitude represented by Sophia is an amazing mindset shift. Farmers have been so persistently poor that people have tried to do anything else if possible. Cheetah's approach creates significant income and removes the traditional class shame by giving them real livelihoods.
Thank you Sophia!
Just this week 300 more farmers are getting loans totaling around $60,000! This is life changing for individuals and total shifts for entire communities.
Please think of us in your year end giving. Many more families are waiting for help.