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Agnes' Story

Weaving high quality raffia products provides Agnes with a reliable source of income Weaving high quality raffia products provides Agnes with a reliable source of income

It’s only four years since 56-year-old Agnes Sanka first became involved with Farm Africa – but the transformation she has seen in that time is incredible.

Finding a sustainable source of income

Living on the edge of Tanzania’s Nou Forest, her family once relied on a small area of land cleared of trees to grow maize, coffee, beans, pigeon peas and vegetables to feed themselves and sell at market. It was difficult to grow enough to eat three meals a day and have some surplus to sell, which meant they were left struggling to make ends meet.

The forest has a rich supply of natural raffia which has been used by generations of women like Agnes to make the baskets and mats that adorn their traditional homes. But until Farm Africa started working with them, the women had never really seen their weaving skills as a reliable source of income.

Taking the products to market

Farm Africa carried out some research and found that there would be a good demand for high-quality woven products at markets in nearby towns and further afield in Tanzania.

We then organised training sessions for Agnes and the other weavers where they learnt which products were in demand and could be sold for a good price. Agnes was soon dedicating more and more time to weaving and now produces a steady stream of high-quality baskets, bags and mats and other goods to sell.

“There is a good market where I have managed to sell a lot of raffia products. With the extra money I can contribute to my children’s school costs, buying food and clothes for my family and helping the community become better.”

A gift of £32 could help provide another woman like Agnes with the training they need to set up their own raffia selling business.


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