If you want to visit Heriel Mungure in Maruango Village in Northern Tanzania, you should check your tires first. The road to his farm is rocky and steep but worth the visit (and you might also be lucky and get offered fresh milk from his cow). Heriel is a father of four children and lives together with his wife and extended family members. Family is very important to Heriel. He raves that they give him motivation and bring him happiness.

Heriel used to supplement his farming with a chicken business, owning over 70 chickens at one point. Sadly, one of his family members got sick and in order to pay for his medicine, Heriel had to sell most of the chickens in April 2017. Around this time, Heriel joined the Mlolosi youth group with Coffee Kids. Since joining Coffee Kids Rural Business Workshops, he has gained access to practical skills and knowledge in the fields of agribusiness, entrepreneurship, and accounting.

Agribusiness Skills

Quite confidently Heriel explains that growing coffee is an easy task for him since he received the agribusiness trainings. He now knows about the most frequent diseases and bugs and says with the right treatment he can get rid of them before they damage his coffee. Also, he implemented the “mulching technique” in which a protective layer of a material such as cut wild grass or banana leaves is spread on top of the soil. Heriel is very proud that he uses the technique successfully and says a little devaluating but with irony: “Drought? Water scarcity? What is that supposed to be? Did you have a look at my soil? The other farmers just do not know how to farm properly”.

Entrepreneurship and Accounting Training

He also shares that he only understood after the training that, if you plan well and spend money with caution, you can increase revenue. Previously he never thought about saving and investing in something particular: “The prospect to make a profit at the end of the day, which gives me long term stability, makes farming much more attractive to me. Since this realization I am a happier farmer.”

The trainings also conveyed him how important record keeping is. Writing down your flow of money is not very popular for Tanzanian farmers. Many mourn that they do not want to know whether things are working well, because they don’t want to get disappointed, if they aren’t.

Outcomes

Before joining Coffee Kids, Heriel used to have 450 coffee trees. Since he attended the trainings he knows more about the trees and how to fertilize them properly. This increased his yield and he could invest in 200 more trees at the beginning of this year. Next to coffee, Heriel also grows beans, maize, and he has two cows and a goat. The money he earns with coffee is mostly reinvested in his farm. He constantly modernizes and looks for new things. From the money he earned with coffee this year he just bought two-acre of land across the road. He plans on cultivating vegetables and maize for his family. His next investment will be in a water pump so he can access water more readily.

With the big successes he achieved in the past months, Heriel has great plans for the future. He wants to renovate his whole house with newly painted walls, proper windows and a bigger living room. Additionally, he would like to have bigger sheds for his livestock. If everything works out this year, he might even travel to another village together with his family.