#SwedenTanzania60As Sweden and Tanzania celebrates 60 years of friendship and bilateral cooperation, the Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania, Hon. Charlotta Ozaki-Macias visited a smallholder farmer and micro-Sunflower processor in Kibaigwa town, along the main Morogoro – Dodoma road. The farmer is one of beneficiaries of an specific initiative by AMDT to build businesses for women processors in the Sunflower subsector in central Tanzania.
Evalyne, 54, is a very busy woman. She runs a micro-Sunflower oil mill in Kibaigwa town along the Dodoma – Dar es Salaam major road. This business is part of her larger agribusiness which includes Sunflower farming. She also works with several smallholder producers in her community providing tillage and harrowing machines, buying grains as well as processing Sunflower.
During high season, villages around her use her machines to process their Sunflower harvests to get oil which is retailed all over the Dodoma region and across Tanzania.
Kibaigwa is not only famous for its international maize market in the middle of the town, but is also a mini hub for Sunflower oil business SMEs. There could be hundreds of micro-Sunflower oil mills and processing machines here. All the major road stretch inbound and outbound of Kibaigwa is dotted with retailers of Sunflower oil produced locally in this area and in the neighboring villages.
Right in the middle of this chaos of Sunflower oil business is where you find Evalyne thriving.
How Esol Sunflower Oil started
Esol Oil Mills is a small sunflower processing factory with a capacity to handle 200 bags (of 70kg) per day and store up to 2,500 bags of raw materials. With her own capital saved from a previous employment, Evalyne injected TZS 5 million to get the business going in 2017 with just one small machine. Six years later by September 2023, the business has grown tenfold, albeit with some challenges including frequent low electricity voltage. This forces her to predominantly process at night. Last farming season, Esol Oils Mill processed 56MT of Sunflower grain. The main markets for Esol products are Dar es salaam and Arusha, with her oils retailing at an average of Tzs 5,000-5,500 per litre.
How AMDT supported Evalyne
AMDT BOT approved a specific grant to support women processors in Dodoma region, one of the biggest Sunflower oil producers in Tanzania through ADDA (market facilitator) in 2020. Part of the grant was utilized by the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) to address gaps aimed at helping smallholder women sunflower processors improve their businesses. ESOL is one of the direct beneficiaries of this initiative. With the help of ADD and SIDO, Evalyne managed to tremendously improve her business facility and got the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) certification in May 2023. Currently, the project is working on how to increase Evalyne’s working capital to cater for a fast-growing business.