Juma Makole, a farmer and livestock keeper from the Mara region of Tanzania, had been facing irrigation challenges for several years, limiting his productivity. However, in 2021, his farming experience changed for the better, thanks to the renewable energy project initiated by the Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI).
With the help of a loan from Enokwe Microfinance, a TAMFI member, Makole was able to purchase a solar panel and pump to irrigate his garden farm. This resulted in a significant increase in his production and a reduction in his operational costs. Before the project, he used manual labor to fetch water for irrigation, cultivating a farm that was about three-quarters of an acre. But with the solar pump and panel, he can now cultivate a farm that is five acres. The operational costs have reduced because the young people who assist him in the farm now do other activities such as planting and weeding, and the irrigation process no longer involves many young people as it used to be.
The use of renewable energy technology has enabled Makole to reduce operational costs and increase production, resulting in his investment in other areas such as livestock keeping. He now has about 150 goats and 80 cows, which have increased his profits.
The loan he received for the solar panel and pump was 1,300,000 shillings, which he has been repaying at a rate of 50,000 shillings per month, for 24 months. The collateral for the loan was his farm and the solar pump. Enokwe Microfinance provided the loan and regularly visits Makole to ensure he is getting the support he needs. Makole is happy with the support he has received and acknowledges that the benefits he has received are significant.
The use of alternative energy technology has enabled Makole to farm his garden throughout the year and water his livestock, especially during long dry periods. Compared to his neighbors, his livestock are safe because he has a permanent water solution, unlike his neighbors who often lose their livestock.
Makole’s story is an excellent example of how renewable energy can empower agriculture and transform livelihoods. With the support of Enokwe Microfinance, he has increased his productivity, reduced operational costs, and improved his livelihood.
Juma Makole’s story is a reminder of the power of renewable energy in empowering farmers and transforming their livelihoods. It is essential to continue investing in renewable energy and promoting renewable energy financing to create a more equitable and sustainable energy system for all Tanzanians.
According to TAMFI CEO, Juma Makole’s experience demonstrates how renewable energy can empower agriculture and transform the livelihoods of small-scale farmers. “At TAMFI, we are committed to promoting renewable energy financing to ensure that more farmers like Juma have access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy solutions. Investing in renewable energy can promote economic development and create a more sustainable future for all Tanzanians,” she noted.
“TAMFI and its members, such as Enokwe Microfinance, are committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by providing financing for renewable energy solutions to those who would not otherwise have access. Juma Makole’s story is a testament to the transformative power of renewable energy financing, which has enabled him to increase his productivity, reduce operational costs, and improve his livelihood,” she said.
*“The success story is a part of the “Energy Access: Building an Innovative Financial Ecosystem for Enterprises and End Users” project implemented by TAMFI and supported by the C.S. Mott Foundation. The project focuses on creating awareness and educating financial institutions and other stakeholders about decentralized renewable energy (DRE) for productive use and its benefits in increasing reliability and reducing costs in production.