Since joining the CRS project in her village, Gertruda has doubled her soybean harvest and has earned six times more profit from her sales. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS.Read more about CRS' work in Tanzania.
Loving God, help us to remember the inherent dignity of all people.
Catholic social teaching focus:
Sacredness and Dignity of the Human Person
Like many farmers in Tanzania, Gertruda Domayo used to struggle to provide for her three grandchildren. Now she is a member of Soya ni Pesa, a Catholic Relief Services project that means “soybeans are money.”
Through the project, Gertruda has learned that a few small changes can make a big difference. Crop spacing and fertilizer have doubled her harvests. The soybeans themselves add nutrients to the soil, fueling future harvests.
Gertruda has learned a new way to sell her soybeans, too. She combines her crops with those of other soybean farmers. Together, they sell their soybeans in bulk. The farmers’ customers benefit too. They save time and money by purchasing large amounts of soybeans all at once. Gertruda’s new way of selling increased her income sixfold over last year, when she sold her beans alone. She can afford to buy healthier food for her family.
Gertruda wants everyone in her rural village of Nakahegwa to have the same success she’s had. “I encourage my neighbors to join the project,” Gertruda says. “It will help them move from poverty by increasing their income and therefore change their lives for the better.”
Facts to consider
- More than 70 percent of farmers in Tanzania work on plots of land smaller than three acres. In the United States, the average farm size is 441 acres.
- Soybeans are used to make poultry feed, which is in high demand in Tanzania, where the poultry industry is growing rapidly.
- A domestic soybean industry is attractive to poultry feed manufacturers, who, by buying from groups like Gertruda’s, are able to produce a higher quality product for less money than they would be able to with imported soybeans or feed made from fish.
- CRS works with 11,250 soybean farmers in Tanzania through Soy ni Pesa, increasing their harvest and connecting them with marketing groups.