Raphael Group Limited (RGL) is currently implementing the Southern Highland Rice Consortium (SHIRCO) as the lead member, with 7,500 rice farmers being supported. The consortium is formed of value chain actors working to promote rice production and trade in the southern highland region of Tanzania. While previously through Food Trade project RGL supported some 5,800 beans farmers in Mbeya region.
RGL working with the consortium members, and IDH farmfit project will initiate a transformative project to upscale current SHIRCO project by expanding the geographic scope for rice production to central Tanzania, adding Beans Value chain, focusing on gender inclusivity 60% women and youth beneficiaries, promoting access in input finance and revitalizing exports sales and markets beyond Tanzania, specifically in East and Southern Africa Region and International market. To achieve a gender transformative model in its approach, RGL will deploy the following integrated services to enhance women and youth empowerment:
• Increase access and control of inputs for women and youth targeting a 60% increase in women and youth.
• Foster and strengthen women farmer collective groups (recruit/GAP training/foster in group leadership/Access to finance)
• Optimize the service ecosystem for women and youth inclusion (through leveraging our position as consortium lead to ensure partners in the ecosystem are integrate inclusion of women and youth).
• Foster women and youth financial inclusion by offering customized gendered (women and youth) financial products to provide Trainer of Trainer training on financial inclusion and financial literacy. These include financing women’s collective groups and establishing appropriate credit scoring/rating systems. RGL shall apply innovative approaches in GAP training that include curriculum on sensitization on GBV practices.
• Enhance market linkages through access to well-equipped aggregation centres, reliable and competitive logistic services and processing facilities for women and youth farmers and expanded local, regional and international markets. The overall goal is to transform the lives of 42,500 smallholder farmers, of whom 60% (29,750) are deliberately women and youth farmers, meaning the upscale will onboard an additional 29,200 farmers (17,520 women and youth) over the next 3 years. Where, 40% are women and 20% are youth in the total number of beneficiaries. In terms of value chain beneficiaries 28,500 (17,100 women and youth) and 14,000 (8,400 women and youth) rice and beans farmers respectively.