This profile was prepared when Joseph Sekiku was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Joseph is fostering entrepreneurship among farming families in northwestern Tanzania. He does this by helping small-scale producers understand how markets work, and how they may move beyond subsistence by adopting new approaches to post-harvest production, marketing, and distribution. He introduces methods that improve yield, such as low-cost techniques and tools for drying and packaging fruits, and helps farmers connect to each other and to new markets. Taken together, these approaches yield higher incomes to small-scale producers—but just as important, they inspire rural farmers to see themselves in a completely new light: As enterprising initiators paving a better future for themselves and their families. As Joseph notes, the time is ripe to realize changes in the economics of small-scale production, as farmers are supported by a burgeoning citizen sector, an economy that is open to global markets, and improved information exchange.