Well folks, I wanted you all to hear it here first: The Bombo Majimoto Project has officially come to an end. But instead of mourning, we are celebrating! Why?
Because we are now the BOMBO MAJIMOTO BUSINESS!
Last week, we had an eight hour meeting in which we completely overhauled our group, changed our perspective, and found our direction to Maisha Bora.
We have been waiting to have this important meeting until we sold all of our garlic. Last week, Omari and Hamdani went to Korogwe and Tanga (after analyzing our first round of sales and making an informed decision/plan with the entire group), and sold the remaining 150 kilos of garlic! Following that, we had the money and knowledge to put our group finances in order and set a plan for the future.
Results poster from our group garlic sales, highlighting revenue, transportation costs, percent cost of transportation in total revenue, and our average price per kilo
We first went over individual production and financial information with the entire group. We recorded revenue and profit from the past three seasons, as well as loan repayment trends and savings contributions. We analyzed the group as a whole, and used this analysis to critically look at our project, and what that would look like as a business.
In order to transition into a self-sustaining business, we could no longer have group debts from past 2Seeds loans. We are thrilled to say that after the garlic sales, the Bombo Majimoto Business is OFFICIALLY DEBT FREE!
We are now transitioning our group savings into a group account in order to purchase inputs for the business moving forward. We decided in our meeting that the next crop to be planted will be cayenne peppers! This stems from another very exciting development in our business.
We have decided to powder both cayenne peppers and dried garlic in order to sell in higher-value markets like Dar es Salaam! We have already begun the process, and the containers and labels have come in. We hope to carry out a trial sale next week, and readjust our strategy according to the results.
Mama Tatu powdering our garlic
In the Advanced Business Curriculum that my Partners are currently taking part in, they were asked what the difference between being a farmer and being a business person means. Many of my Partners were thinking about this question long after the lesson. A few days ago, as we were cutting garlic to prepare it for thorough drying, Bazu (Inputs Manager) described that farmers would see that our garlic is too small to sell in the market and let it rot in storage. Business people see this small garlic as an opportunity to be innovative, powdering it to create spice containers that sell at a higher value in the markets. Business people find treasure in what seems to be trash through thinking outside of the box.
After 1.5 years, my time here with 2Seeds is coming to an end, and I am thrilled that this ending came with a twist. We are no longer a malleable, fragile project. We are a business, with a plan, and we are moving full-steam ahead to Maisha Bora!