Catalyst Grant Winner Increases Food Security in Tanzania
2021 Fellowship Alumnus Abdallah Mabrouck and his team, Ayubu Mundekesye and Kelvin Mwise, won the inaugural Catalyst Grant award, initiated by the Fellowship and D-Prize in 2021. Their project, Ibukia Shambani, helps smallholder farmers in Tanzania by combining digital technology and direct support to deliver agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers.
Since receiving the Catalyst Grant, Ibukia Shambani has introduced a project – Access to Farm Inputs For Improved Productivity – that offers regular, on-field agronomic training and support to smallholder farmers. They’ve also created Youth Village Entrepreneurs (YVE) Groups, which offers economic opportunities for rural youth who are trained to support farmers throughout the season. After youth engagement workshops, the 50 YVE participants agreed to support 100 farmers during the 2022-2023 maize production season.
The team has also successfully built partnerships with leaders in the Mbulu District, including the District Executive Director of and all heads of departments, including Agriculture, Community Development, Education, Cooperatives, and Environment. Ibukia Shambani has also established strategic partnerships with a maize seeds distributor, a fertilizer company, and a financial institution that will provide resources and tools for smallholder farmers.
Looking forward, Ibukia Shambani plans to reach at least 500 farmers in the next farming season and to provide income-generating activities to more than 200 youth village entrepreneurs in the next 12 months.