Setting Up

"So, these two days, we’ve been chugging along.   Yesterday, Philemon
and I met with International Fund for Agricultural Development, and we
have their full support.   However, as they contribute to a larger
agricultural fund where there are anonymous contributors, they
suggested that we work through the daldos--District Agricultural Land
Development Officers, as they decide how to spend the money they
receive in their district.   As soon as we get our first 5 shellers
from Karam, we will start introducing ourselves to both daldos and
saccos to generate demand for our product.

As for today, we finally found the most ideal office and signed our
office agreement.  It was our hope to get an office on the main roads,
but then we soon realized that there is no such thing as offices on
the main roads; rather, there are just stores and hair salons.   So,
we made a small compromise of getting a two-room office that’s about
30 meters from the main road.   As it is just behind a petrol station,
yet visible in looking down the street we’re on, it makes our location
perfect for people to find us (we can mention that we’re in Kijenge
Mwanama, or just near the Mt. Meru petro station in Kijenge).   In
addition to its affordability, because of its location, we are
shielded from the noisy cars and clouds of dust that the cars send up.
Our plan is to stick a huge sign on the side of the road, pointing to
our location, so even if they can’t see our office as they ride by in
a daladala, they can still find us.

We spent the remainder of the day at Karam Engineering, and when I say
rest of the day, I mean till 9pm.  They ended up making new sprockets
and toyed with fixing the alignment, and finally at the end of the
night, we had a working machine where the chain wouldn’t fall off.
Next week, we will start immediately going to farms to conduct as many
tests as possible.   I’m thinking I might arrange a “bike tour” of
sorts for next week so that we can see how it works not only in
shelling corn, but also in transport.   And as we test, we’ll tweak
the design, and the following week, we will head to the areas of
Mwanza, Dodoma, Iringa, Tabora, and Mbeya to put our shellers in the
hands of saccos and district leaders."
Jodie, Tanzania

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