Against all odds: Nassali,DREAMS AGYW is overly determined to improve her livelihood after empowerment by Kitovu Mobile
By Charles Kibuye,DREAMS Project Field Officer,Kifamba
Jump-started by Kitovu Mobile, Faridah Nassali’s determination to improve her livelihood is now unstoppable! It is Unstoppable to an extent that Nassali, a Muslim faithful accepted to host a piggery breeding center for her SILC group, Tusobola Womens SILC group ”
Piggery breeding centers was started after adding Agribusiness on the Social Economic Strengthening menu in 2018,adding it on the list of vocational skills given to Adolescent girls and Young Women,commonly abbreviated as AGYW
But Nassali,didnt only stop at hosting the center for her group,which was the first to request for it,but she further engaged in taking care of the pigs.
Being a unique scene where a Muslim feels free to look after pigs,Nassali says,this utmost determination that was instilled in her by DREAMS.”I remember in one of the financial literacy sessions, Musawo Kibuye told us that poverty is a choice you take,” She recalls, saying she went back home and meditated on it.
This is one reason why she was decided not t choose to be poor,especially when interventions had been put in place by DREAMS.Fortunately, her decision to embrace agribusiness by even hosting a piggery project, was fruitful.
This was so because after six months to ten month, each group member had at least two piglets from the breeding site.These took them to be to practice and implement the skills at individual homes and indirectly empower their households economically.
But for Nassali,a no settle for less AGWY,she used returns from the piggery project to invest in another income generating project.This was passion fruit growing project.
She says in financial literacy sessions, they were told not to rely on one income generating enterprise.
This is what she recalled and moved to start another project.
“I chose this because there was a DREAMS Agriculturalist who would guide me on what do”
Besides, she had seen an untapped market for passion fruits.
She went on to hire land where to put the project.
This costed her Shs 300,000/ (how big is the land), which amount was all got from the savings group.
Efforts paying off:
As Nassali happily shares, the project has significantly improved her livelihood and households income.
She says she could earn at between Shs 400,000- Shs 550,000 monthly.
The mother of four says profits from her venture help her educate her children as well as supporting development programs at a home, something she says her spouse has since welcomed.
Nassali also leaves no space idle,she planted tomatoes,another avenue to get money but also keeping her passion fruit garden free from weeds. All these are skills she learnt from the DREAMS project agricultural officer.
This rosy story ceased to be when Covid-19 knocked in.
She says, the lockdown, one of the measures that was imposed to fight spread of the pandemic, has adversely affected her sales.It has seen a sheep fall in prices as demand is adversely low.
“A sack, that went for Shs 120, 000, Nassali says it now goes at as low as Shs 20,000. But despite this great decline, buyers are also hardly available.
This bitter fate leaves their harvest to rot from the garden yet the costs of farm inputs like spray drugs has remained high.
Hope not lost
A hard-skinned business woman,Nassali cant just give up. Nassali already has new plantation of passion fruits which she believes will cover up the losses because it has just started bearing fruits. It close to an acre.