Happy and Tumaini

AGE: 27

In Tanzania, nearly 1 in 20 people relies on coffee for their living. The region is unique in that smallholders make up the overwhelming majority of coffee harvesting, which makes it well-suited for Coffee Kids’ efforts to empower young farmers to become entrepreneurs.

Two friends, Happyness Pallangyo and Tumaini M. Nassary, provide powerful examples of the good that Coffee Kids can do. Both joined the Mareu youth group at a critical time in their lives, just as they were trying to figure out if they could make a living from the crop their parents had grown.

Through our rural business workshops, they learned that the secret to success in coffee involves understanding and participating in a larger portion of the economic ecosystem that it creates. With our training and seed capital, Happy and Tumaini launched a coffee bar and an input supply shop, respectively, and today they are thriving entrepreneurs.


The Tanzania Coffee Farmer Alliance (TCFA) is a farmer-owned organization based on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Moshi, the coffee capital of Tanzania. The organization represents about 10,000 smallholder coffee farmers and provides essential services such as market information, access to financial services, and technical assistance to improve the quality and quantity of their coffee harvest.

The Need

Youth in the Kilimanjaro region see potential in agribusiness and are exploring opportunities to make a living in coffee farming, instead of migrating from farms to cities. These youth believe that they will need to change how they farm to be successful. These young farmers propose running their farms as small family-owned businesses, with a focus on professional marketing of their coffee, as a key to success. A strong vision, tailored training, and seed capital are needed to bring this plan to fruition.

The Project

Coffee Kids is collaborating with motivated young coffee farmers to realize their vision of building viable coffee businesses and communities. As TCFA has provided a network to farmers, new youth agricultural clubs will build on that model, creating a space for the exchange of ideas and knowledge as well as a forum for technical training. Youth agricultural clubs will be the basis for exchange, training, and identifying business opportunities in agriculture in close cooperation with TCFA.

Members of each club will work together to identify the particular needs of their coffee-growing community. Youth clubs will foster entrepreneurship by developing small business ventures designed to support farming communities, such as agricultural input application, land preparation, transportation services, and agricultural input shops. Through the clubs, the young coffee farmers will also establish and manage saving and credit groups, which will provide the capital for investments in these small business ventures.  In order to ensure the success of these small businesses, the youth will participate in entrepreneurial training and will partner with mentors who will help them carry out their business plans. The clubs will provide forums for the youth to collaborate to ensure thorough monitoring and evaluation of their progress.

An important aspect of this unique project model is the mentoring. National leaders of the coffee sector will serve as mentors to the members of the youth clubs to help them reach their goals. The youth club members, in turn, may provide mentoring to students in local schools to teach and inspire younger community members with their ideas, energy, and creativity.

The Outcome

Youth agricultural clubs are designed to become firmly established in the communities as spaces fostering information exchange and as sources of seed capital for young farmers. Through these activities the young entrepreneurs will be inspired to take an active role in transforming their small family farms into thriving businesses. They will contribute to strengthening their communities with their creativity and technical and entrepreneurial know-how.