We cannot believe that Quarter 3 is almost over! April 30th marks the end of this quarter and we are already planning our goals for Quarter 4. A large part of our work this year has been solidifying the business and getting the solar drying initiative off the ground. We are going to continue to monitor and evaluate these two large activities with our Quarter 4 goals. We want to ensure that the business will be able to continue normal activities during the transition period (the period in which we will have left Tanzania but the new PCs have not yet arrived). And we want to make sure that partners feel confident using their solar dryers.
The business has seen a spike in sales with our three new buyers in Korogwe. These buyers approached us in February and have been placing large and consistent orders for all of our products. We were really happy to see this consistency, with our new and old buyers alike, and were hopeful for our March profits. Unfortunately, peanut prices spiked in the market this month. The rainy season has begun which means that farmers all over this region have begun planting their crops. We are now in a waiting game. Crops will not be harvested for the next few months. This means that market prices have increased for almost all staple foods and produce, and fresh foods in Tabora are harder to come by. This increase in prices meant that we still cooked and sold peanuts, but our profit margin for peanuts was diminished. In March we cooked over 1,000 bags of peanuts. Our fried peanuts have been a huge success in Korogwe! But our profits for March ranged between 15-27,000 TZS per partner. The partners have been learning about the concept of “breaking even” in the buisness curriculum. We reazlied that although profits were low, this was a great teaching moment. We did make a profit this month. We did not break even on our products. Our group leader, Mama Mwaliko, did a really great job explaining this to the whole group. She read out all the numbers we calculated together and explained that peanuts turned a profit, even though it was not as high as we wanted it to be. The business understands that high profits are not a guarantee every month. We will see some great months and some harder months, but we are still in this together!
Because of the rains we have not been able to use the solar dryers as much as we wanted to this past month. We are still drying goods as much as possible and celebrating when we see the sun! Emma made a great solar drying video to highlight some of the work we have accomplished so far. The link is on our facebook page—check it out! https://www.facebook.com/taboraproject?ref=bookmarks