Met a couple of days ago with the Tanzania Country Director of CNFA (US-based org that works with a huge network of afri-dealers). He liked everything, but was very concerned with specifics, especially the bags per day number. He also alleviated some of the concerns about seasonality, because he said some people keep the corn on the cob and shell it as they need it over a few months instead of all at once, so there's always some shelling to be done late into the fall and winter, and by spring we can be selling units to re-sellers for the following season. He proposed a concrete next step: to have Jodie and Filemon bring a bike with a sheller with them on their next trip to a particular village on the August 18th. He said it was in an area that he thought is particularly in need of our tech, because it has lots of very small producers.
Today, I had the official meeting with the Office of Regional Agricultural Adviser for Arusha Region. This is the government-based effort for agriculture. The adviser already visited us at Nane Nane 2 days ago, and now we met officially at his office at the Regional government building. He made it clear that for official purposes, we need a different introduction, so I'm now working on our intro letter for myself which I will print on stationary and hand deliver to the right place.
The meeting went very well, I was there with Filemon which I think gave us the perfect blend of US-based and local flavor. The first part was taped by Katya (from Soldak Productions Company) but then she left to give us some privacy.
He totally agreed that we need to work with SACCOs, the small S&L banks in each district, because there's a huge number of them, and they have a complete picture of all the locals as they need to be "members" to work with the SACCO, so they know exactly how to make loans and control credit risk.
So the bottom line is that we have regional gov’t blessing to work with the district leaders to get to the SACCOs.