Investment Story

Maswa DC is one of the districts of Simiyu region which is the second poorest region in Tanzania1 and is among those regions faced with severe malnutrition and anemia.

The project is aimed at encouraging and supporting local small holder farmers to shift into a more profitable Orange Flashed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP) farming and away from their existing low productive subsistence farming. Due to limited market outreach, and immediately after harvesting, farmers used to sell to passing traders for a low price, a practice that continued their cycle of poverty.

UNCDF invested $USD $100,000 to cover the cost of connecting the factory to the national grid electricity; procuring high capacity solar drying machines; working capital to operationalize the business; and establishment of a project company with shareholding given to the local government & the local community, a more financially and operationally sustainable arrangement.

Facts and Figures


  • Maswa District Council


    Project Developer

  • Tanzania


    Location
  • <b><span aria-hidden="true" class="fa fa-arrow-up"> </span><br /> $211,093</b>

    Total Project Cost

  • 2019-2021


    Duration

Our Response

UNCDF invested $USD $100,000 to cover the cost of connecting the factory to the national grid electricity; procuring high capacity solar drying machines; working capital to operationalize the business; and establishment of a project company with shareholding given to the local government & the local community, a more financially and operationally sustainable arrangement.

Results Achieved


  • $100,000


    UNCDF Investment

  • $23,88 MT


    Raw OFSP purchased
  • <b><span aria-hidden="true" class="fa fa-arrow-up"> </span><br /> Income to 58</b>

    Individual Local Farmers

  • 12


    Indirect Jobs
  1. The project company in the form of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is now operational (governance and management structures in place). The SPV has empowered Maswa DC to separate project operations with that of the district, and the SPV is now capable of ring-fencing OFSP project revenues and operations and thus providing a good base for project sustainability.
  2. Enabled access to reliable, safe, and affordable energy to power the factory with an installed capacity of processing 10MT of raw potatoes into flour per day.
  3. The purchase of solar drying machines enables the factory to hold 3MT of sliced OFSP at once. The solar food dryer improves food security through allowing the longer storage of food after drying and reduces post-harvest losses.
  4. 23.88 MT of raw OFSP purchased from local small holder farmers with UNCDF working capital. This intervention has provided a reliable market and a source of income to 58 individual local farmers (18 being women), 3 primary schools, 1 secondary school and 1 farmers group with 12 members (8 being women).
  5. The project has generated direct and indirect employment to the local community of Maswa. During construction of the solar drying stations, 14 local people were employed (3 being women), 14 other labors (6 being women) were contracted in processing the raw materials in the factory and 2 professional workers (both women). Furthermore, this initiative has stimulated non-farming activities and increase in income through indirect jobs that include 12 people (3 women) as entrepreneurs (mama lishe) and cargo handlers/transport and logistic.

Stories from the Field

Our Team

Sirra Foon
LFI Investment Officer