Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Jatropha is a plant which has been known to extract oil which can be used to manufacture soap,candles and biodisiel.
The idea is to promote growing, using and developing jatropha and its bi- products as an alternative energy source for the poor communities of Tanzania.The plant thrives well in poor climates and that makes it a good choice for the arid areas.

About You
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Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



, IL

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


Organization Name


Organization Phone

+255 787 474341

Organization Address

P.O.BOX 541

Organization Country

, AR

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, SI

What makes your idea unique?

The uniqueness of this idea comes in the way it will promote and stimulate micro entreprenuership, especially in rural communities. This is one project which combines BOTH poverty alleviation and environmental protection, sustainability and management.
It focuses on the liberation of women in both protecting the environment while earning a substantial amount of income. Women are known to do all the firewood collection and cooking while still being expected to do farm work in most of the male dominated Tanzanian cultures. The promotion of jatropha as a crop will stimulate the idea of using jatropha oil for cooking and that will relieve them from deforestation process which is critical.
This project aims at initiating and promoting the simple technology of stove usage therefore creating market for the small industries to make stoves. It also aims at using the biproducts to make soap and candles while promoting the oil pressing micro-industries.
This idea also is based in the simple way the jatropha plants grow. They require minimum maintanance and they can thrive in most Tanzanian regions.
Jatropha also grows wild in most parts of the country and this makes it an organic crop by definition and therefore the burden of certifying the products organic becomes moot, although this may be a subsequent goal in the future.
Similarly, as the world moves towards alternative clean fuels, commercial opportunities may present themselves as investors see the lucridity in this green enterprise.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

-In the year 2005 in collaboration with WODSTA (Women Development for Science and Technology Association), a not-for-profit organization, we trained and supplied seeds of jatropha to more than 400 women in ten womens groups around the Mount Meru region.
-The groups are now thriving, selling jatropha products inlcuding soap and candles. Also most of the women started to use biofuel energy efficiency stoves and this has greatly reduced the rate of deforestation on mount meru region.
-Jatropha has a symbiotic relationship with vanilla orchids and the stories are nothing but very succesfull women farmer groups after they discovered that vanilla can actually thrive well in jatrophas and now they are having the best of both as vanilla is an expensive crop and they already have established jatropha plants,therefore most of the farmers now grow both vanilla and jatropha were climate permits.
-The selling of jatropha seeds has higly increased the income of women in the area around mount Meru and now they no longer have to be manual labors in order to pay for their children school fees. Children does have to miss classes to work in order to pay for the fees.

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

-The idea is twofold. It addresses the issue of employment to women, and environmental degradation, by using simple technology to help decrease the instances of deforestation. Women unfortunetly play a big role in environmental damage, as they are the primary gatherers of firewood for domestic usage.
-It can raise the income/social status of poor and marginalized women in the rural communities by letting them operate small cottage style industries while doing their jobs as fit by the cultural norms of the area.
-It can combat the issue of unemployment by providing employment oportunities to women and young men who will participate in the whole process of growing and extracting oils.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. What might prevent that success?

-One of the steps to make this a success is to conduct more trainings and seminars about the positive impact the whole industry will bring to them.
-By using the pilot project groups, we take new potential working groups on a tour of successful groups that preceded them, in order to set a positive example and instill confidence in the new candidates.
-We will keep lobbying and trying to send our proposed write up for the project to different organisations and interested parties for funding.
-In order to succeed we have biotechnology that assures farmers that jatropha can actually be intercropped. Reaserchers has already proved that jatropha has an allelopathic relation with most crops and depending on the topography, soil profile and prevailing agroclimatic conditions in an area, Jatotropha can be intercroped with almost all the indigenous crops of any given area.
-The biggest deterent to success of this plan is the lack of innovative farmers. Most farmers are used to the tradional feed crop farming and to change that may be daunting for many of them.
-Land belongs to the male part of the family and would be considered a cultural deviation to have women allocated the piece of land for their innovative programs.
-Marketing for the products is another challenge. Most people have not yet heard of jatropha oil are used to their traditional fossil fuels: charcoal or firewood. Farmers who have aquired the Jatropha tree may still find a difficult time selling it.
-government policy towards the used of biodiesel is not yet well defined and oil lobbyists are creating tension between the government and the biodeiesle interest party.
-Inadequate funding is another big limitation to the implementation of this plan. Initial funding for any project of this magnitude can be quite steep.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

-The pilot phase of the project has proven succesful for the past three years; the remaining phases includes the launch and spread of the project in the vast arid lands of central Tanzania. Therefore year one is to identify potential areas,train farmers and distribute planting materials to over 1,000 farmers of the Mkalama valley.
-Year two will deal mainly in follow up and further training of the established farmers with emphasis in the usage of the crop. Training will cover use of pressing machines,soap and candle making technologies and biodiesel stoves.
-Year three of the project establishes marketing systems to make sure the surplus products will be marketed to the surrounding towns/cities and (hopefully) subsequently foreign markets for organic soap and candles.
-Every step of the way there will be quarterly assesment and evaluation as we proceed and then we will have an outside auditors for final evaluation after every phase of the project is done and completed.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?


If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

-The innovation will help reduce the gorvernment intervetion on importing unnecesary agricultural products, creating a locally sustainable economy.
-This innovation will impact policy markers to change the tax policy for small scale farmers and help the gorvernment in the whole carbon credit isssue.
-There has already being a talk in the parliament about the use of bio fuels and how to subsidize the farmers and reduce the gorvenment burden of crude oil dependance.

What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your innovation

The whole project is dependent upon partnerships with fellow organisations, businesses and the government.
We are heavily reliant on organisations to donate training materials and some will give us the seedlings or planting materials.
We partner with organisations like CARMATEC-Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation and Rural Technology in Tanzania which helps us develop and design stoves and oil pressing machines.
Also partnering with local gorvernment level is critical in a way that we have to use extension officers to identify the farmers and distribute planting materials. We attain local government permission before creating entreprenueral relations in any ward or district.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

Currently, the whole project is financially supported by members of TAMIHA which the organisation I founded and as the plan was in the pilot stage we could still manage it.
the business plan is expected to be financially supported by donors and other partners which will be identifuied as such after reading and accepting the proposal i have in file.
After the initial plans the next step is to contract farmers for up to 5,000ha which can give a substantial commercial yield. Its at this stage that the production can be rendered commercial and ready for export.
The whole project has to start and work in a rural development basis first. from there then it will work its way to export levels.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

I was born and raised up in Tanzania. growing in the middle family i have never expiriencied a lavish life or extreme poverty I have seen both and know which side I dont want to be.
Living in the region of singida while parents were actually from kilimanjaro area.
Singida region has a bad environmental degradation due to overgrazing and deforestation. Its always dry,hot and very dusty. My farther told me that it used to be nice by due to overgrazing and deforestations its actuallyBecoming real bad.
As the years go we usually go to kilimnajaro for our holidays and it was always a treat to be in this region with cooler climate and water flowing year round and making it evergreen.
For my secondary education I was studying in Kilimanjaro and there was a huge change as opposed to what i rmemebr when we used to visit the area around ten years ago-taht time which is 1990's and so the environmental degradation,global warming and deforestation of mount kilimanjaro both lead to the quick degrading of this once nice climate and my conclusion was to find ways to nurse our eco systems better.
First i came the Mianzi initiative project which is now taking care of the Kilimanjaro eco syatem though in small scale. Then i founded TAMIHA.
Going to singida region to visit my mother reminded me of doing something about nursing their eco systems too and then the idea of Jatropha come in mind.
I am a Horticulturalist and am nore confortable using plants to solve our problems and innovation due to their wide dirvesy use.

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

I am the idea behind the whole innovation. I have attended schools and different continuing educations to make me realize that I can help and serve my community better by being creative and using my skills and knowledge to bring change which I want to see in the community.
I moved from tanzania in 2007 and come to join my wife in United states.this has even opened me wide just by seeing how much resources are being utilized here daily.
My operations still are active and in full operational in Tanzania as of now so am busy trying to run things from American end and at the same time being a regular working person in america. am succeding in both as am a multi talented indivudual who can handle multi task.
I have a wife and a baby daughter who I want to see grow in a green world which uses renewable resources.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Email from Changemakers

If through another source, please provide the information
Does your project address any of the following barriers to women’s technology access and use?

Women’s time poverty, Social norms, Economic or institutional constraints, Women’s lack of involvement in the technology development process.

If you checked any of the boxes above, please explain how.

-The project will significantly cater to womens time as it will address the income generating activity by kletting women to do what they normally do only that this time they will be awraded with economic benefits.
-The project is co current with social norms of the targeted community as it will help women to do what is socially acceptable in their surrounding s only that this time they will be making money protecting the environment and build their community.
-In economic and institutional constraints the project will solve the solution as it will bring in experts in different fields to train women in actual technology part of the project.The organization behind the project is a registered entity and it has done and will continue to connect all the marginalized women and society in general with services that they don't know exists,including low interest loans and education in different topics.
_the project is taylor suited to accomodate a typical rural woman in a Tanzanian community,how to use and utilize the resources which surrounds them and how they can put those to use in a modern advance technologigal way.

Does your project involve women in one or more of the following stages of the technology lifecycle? Identification of the problem the technology will solve:

Technology design, Market research, Technology introduction, Technology training, Technology supply and distribution, Creation and maintenance of market linkages for women's economic outputs, Assessment and evaluation.

If you checked any of the boxes above, please explain how you will ensure women’s involvement in each relevant phase of the technology lifecycle.

-The whole set up will include women to design which model best suits their approach depending on timeframe and their social responsibilities.
-The setup in itself aims in domestic goods and marketing of domestic related final goods has proved infallible if conducted by women. In this case as women groups will have full authority over the project they will be taught and adviced on marketing strategies.
introduction of the whole project aims at poverty aleeviation from the marginalised women communities so they will be fully involved in the introduction prt.
-We will be dealing with women groups so the all trainings will be aimed at addresing rural women groups.
-Again the distribution of the technology is aimed at women groups. The whole technological chain from supply to the distribution of the actual technology will be emphasisied from the model which has been experimented on other succesful pilot projects which were run entirely by women groups.
-Women has been highly neglected in our patrimonial society for so long and this will be one of the many projects which will help them to link with the regular market by showing their economical outputs in term of consumer goods.
-The project will link with proffesional women groups like WODSTA to creat a model for assesment and evaluation of the whole project in differenc phases.

If women are a focus of your project, how did this focus evolve?

The project focused on women from its conception., The project developed a focus on women over time..

Which type of women will your project reach directly?

Rural, Peri-urban, Low income, Middle income.

In what ways does your project team/leadership involve women?

It is led by a woman/women from a developing country., The core project team includes women from developing countries..

Has your organization formed any new partnerships in response to this challenge? If so, with what type/s of organization/s?


Has your project leadership had prior experience with the following?

Working with women, Working with technologies, Working to increase women's economic empowerment through technology, Working on innovation.