OneLove broke ground on the development of the Summit Samaki Centre in March of 2021. The Centre is a sustainable 3-acre pond fish farm (tilapia) that will include a training centre focused on entrepreneurial empowerment programs and be a business and community resource centre for surrounding villages.
The problems and solutions - A win-win for all
Village mamas often lack technical skills to leverage into a business opportunity after their training. They need skills and/or products to sell. Mamas will be taught the skills to start successful fish businesses. They will be provided with a steady supply of inventory from the farm at below-market prices. Credit will be extended during their start-up phase.
OneLove's goal is on strategic growth and long-term sustainability. The fish farm is a social enterprise with all funds going to support OneLove programming.
Businesses need ongoing support to ensure the success of their ventures. 1) The Centre will offer ongoing free business training and counselling sessions to all businesses in surrounding villages. 2) A formalized womens peer mentoring program will match experienced owners with those in start-up phase.
Rural communities often lack access to resources and support for their families and the community. The Centre will be available to for community meetings, special events, travelling medical caravans, etc.
The journey to date
January: Finalized purchase of 3 acres of ideal land - good location
February: Let the digging begin on two 30 m x 30 m ponds – all by hand.
March: Plastic liner installed on Pond #1 (shipped from Kenya).
April: Water supply pulled up. It took a week to fill the first pond.
20,000 fingerlings (tilapia minnows) arrived. Big day!
June: Construction started on a small building that includes a toilet, storage area and room for our watchman who resides at the farm full-time.
July: Pond cover net purchased to protect the fish from hungry birds.
October: All work on the building completed.
December: Preparation of pond #2 completed. Filled with 10,000 fingerlings. This shipment were not monosex which means the females will spawn avoiding purchase price in the future.
Fish in Africa: A Growing Sector
There is a proven (and growing) need for fish that far exceeds existing supply in Tanzania. There has been an 88% increase in the last decade. This demand will only continue to grow as the population is anticipated to hit 100 million by 2038 – most living on less than $1.90 USD per day. Conditions for other sources of protein (beef, pork, chicken) are problematic.
And the road ahead
The first harvest of the 20,000 fish is scheduled for early 2022. Profits will be put directly back into the venture to prepare the other ponds, increase our new fish inventory, and ensure working capital until the next harvests. (Note: When all ponds are filled we have capacity for 300,000 fish which will be harvested on a rolling pond basis).
The goal is to break ground on the training centre mid to late 2022 with completion by March 2023.