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Replication Fund Project Description
PROJECT: Crab Fattening Businesses for Youth Economic Development
TAEZULI is an organization committed to advancing the economic development of its
community members through environmental conservation activities. Its members are local
youth, familiar with the coastal land in the Mtwara region and its resources, but also challenged
by lack of economic opportunities. The organization recognizes that unemployment and low
education levels hinder the ability of villages and surrounding areas to engage in entrepreneurial
activities. The main objective of TAEZULI is to support Mtwara youth to empower themselves
and improve their livelihoods, through the introduction of alternative fishing methods
LOCATIONOF THE PROJECT: Mtwara region, Southern Tanzania
Mtwara is a region of southern Tanzania. It is a rural area that has been underdeveloped for a
long time due to a lack of highway and energy infrastructures. The regions economy is based
mostly on fishing and agriculture.
TARGET GROUP: Young men and women living in 15 selected villages in the Mtwara region.
These youth lack employment opportunities in the villages and have low levels of education. The
target population includes young mothers and small scale fishermen along the Mnazi Bay area.
One of the key challenges facing potential youth entrepreneurs in the target region is their
inability to access technical training facilities. Most members of TAEZULI have indigenous
knowledge of the life of crabs and their environment but lack the technical skills in crab
fattening to increase market value. They are in need of additional support to acquire the
technical skills needed for this type of business. They also lack the relevant skills to start and
sustain a business as they do not have access to entrepreneurship and business development
opportunities. Sources of start-up capital and financing are a particularly significant issue due to
lack of information and exposure to available sources. As a result, they are unable to establish
businesses in their respective villages. There is also the presence of an environmental hazard,
waste found on the shores in the community. This has created a need for clean-up initiatives.
Most members and beneficiaries have indigenous knowledge regarding the life of crabs and
their environment. Enabling them to acquire the practical knowledge and skills in crab farming
will increase their ability to become self-employed. To address the above mentioned challenges,
the project offers the following key services to their youth beneficiaries:
Construction of Demonstration Site: Securing a location to be used as a demonstration site for
the prawn pond is an important component of this project. The youth are involved in the
establishment of the pond, learning the skills to later replicate it. The site is used to provide
ongoing technical training on crab fattening, hatchery construction and maintenance.
Technical Peer Learning & Mentoring: The project utilizes a Training of Trainers (ToT)
approach where experts from the partner organization train identified youth on how to
construct a hatchery, drive in cages, and fatten crabs by feeding them fish waste. These trained
youth then serve as indigenous trainers and mentors delivering the same practical on-site
training to the project beneficiaries using the demonstration site and mentoring them
throughout the fattening process. The approach compliments the indigenous skills of the local
youth by providing them with technical training skills in crab fattening to convey to their peers.
To supplement the training in crab fattening, the project trains the target group on the right
kind of fish waste to collect for crab food as well as the benefits of fish waste collection for
environmental conservation.
Entrepreneurship Training: To support the beneficiaries further, training on how to start and
run a business is provided through the ILOs Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) training
program. This is delivered by an ILO certified SIYB trainer. Training materials and workbooks are
also provided for the beneficiaries to produce their business plans.
Marketing and Packaging Training: As part of the entrepreneurship training, beneficiaries are
introduced to successful marketing strategies for their product. They are also taught how to
package their product properly to attract customers.
Formation and Formalization of Business Groups: The project staff supports beneficiaries to
organize groups and to formalize themselves as registered businesses.
Supporting Access to Finance: The project supports beneficiaries to identify formal and informal
sources of capital, which they can access to seek for start-up capital. The crab fattening business
has relatively high start-up costs. Engaging as a group enables beneficiaries to meet some of the
start-up costs, and to minimize some of the limitations to accessing finance (through bargaining
and borrowing collectively). The project also engages key partners and other stakeholders to
link beneficiaries with financial institutions and subsequent loans.
Experiences in implementing various Y2Y Fund projects across East Africa have provided general
lessons to be considered by new project implementers. One issue to consider is the importance
projects must place on selecting their beneficiaries carefully, focusing efforts on motivated youth,
who are intent on generating a successful business and who are interested in the specific field of
business identified in the project. The implementing organization must also put sufficient emphasis
on facilitating access to finance. This will ensure that targeted youth are provided with the
knowledge, skills and environment to access youth friendly financing. Implementing organizations
should also ensure that even after beneficiaries start their businesses, they will receive access to
proper business development services and other required technical assistance. It is important this
process be included in the project design itself. Furthermore, projects need to be regularly
monitored and followed-up, so that any problems which arise can be identified in a timely manner
and targeted technical assistance can be provided. Involvement and coordination of
knowledgeable partners is also crucial for the success of projects. Valuable partners can
complement the skills and capacity of implementing organizations.
In addition to incorporating general lessons learnt, the new implementing partner must consider
several issues specific to this project, including:
Health and Safety Regulations: As this project deals with perishable foods, it is important to
understand the need to abide by health and safety regulations to avoid contamination. The
technical trainings provided should include specific modules on cleaning, storing and packaging
of sea food and other health regulations.
Selection of Trainers: The role of local crab fattening peer trainers is crucial for the success of
the project. The identification of the most qualified and capable trainers should be given proper
emphasis in project implementation.
Marketing: Beneficiaries tend to focus on already existing markets for fish, rather than
identifying and entering new and different markets available for crabs. Where this is the case,
the training on marketing should focus on supporting the beneficiaries to identify new markets
and design marketing strategies for their specific product. This can significantly increase their
scale of production and sales.
Packaging: The packaging of the crabs is typically done with very little attention to the
presentation and hygiene of the packaging materials and the products. The packagi ng training
should thus include elements of product presentation and how to impact customer decisions by
proper packaging and presentation, as well as the above mentioned safety standards.
Location and Commitment of Beneficiaries: The beneficiaries selected in the first project were
from 15 different villages. It is difficult to monitor their progress and support them in the
implementation due to high transportation costs. The distances may also lead to low beneficiary
turn out in some cases. The new implementer should consider the issue of location and distance
when selecting potential youth beneficiaries.
Project Costs and Time Estimates: In the original project, the estimated time and cost of building
the work site was not accurate. This caused delays in implementation. The new implementer
should ensure that sufficient resources and time have been dedicated to this stage in the project
planning and budgeting.
External Factors Affecting the Businesses: The project is sensitive to weather conditions. During
the sunny season, the crabs experience slow growth and early mortality causing a loss for the
businesses. The new implementer should consider this during the project planning stage and
support the beneficiaries to find alternative options to mitigate risks in implementation.
There are generic requirements that apply across all Y2YF projects, including the identification of
markets for relevant products/services, strong implementation capacity of the applicant
organization, and strong beneficiary ownership and commitment. In addition, there are some
specific requirements that need to be in place for an organization to consider implementing this
particular project:
Availability of Similar Resources: The new implementer must be located in a region similar to
Mtwara region. They would be best situated in areas where the necessary natural resources (i.e.
crabs, appropriate marine habitat, fish waste, large spaces to construct hatcheries and cages,
etc.) are abundantly available.
Markets for Crabs (tourism): The area should have either an established tourism industry or
highly productive and diverse fisheries. This would ensure the availability of a sizeable market
for the crabs.
Technical Knowledge: Preferably, the members of the implementing or partner organization
should have indigenous knowledge of crab fattening and fishing.