How a sesame snack has helped change Clara’s life

Farm  Africa

Farm Africa

Premium Supplier 19th May 2017

How a sesame snack has helped change Clara’s life

This sweet snack biscuit is just one of the ways that Clara, a smallholder farmer in the Babati region of Tanzania, has been able to add value to her crop of sesame.

Since attending a consultation meeting with Farm Africa in her village in 2015 and participating in their training in farming techniques, Clara’s entrepreneurial spirit has blossomed and she has been able to double her income with the help of these delicious snacks.

Before attending the training she had been farming peas, sorghum, maize and sesame, but with no real understanding of farming techniques.

“We had no knowledge of good techniques and were just throwing seeds around, causing congestion so crops couldn’t grow. We didn’t know about using chemicals, so the crops I worked so hard to harvest would spoil.”

Nor did she realise that she could add value to her crops by creating products or by marketing them differently.
“I was not aware of value addition. Marketing was also a problem. I had no knowledge of how to do marketing. We would just sell to anyone driving by in trucks, asking to buy our produce.”

Married with five children, Clara struggled to pay school and hospital bills, but the training she received changed her life and her family has flourished. Her eldest child is married and the second has become a medic in the city. The other three, aged six, nine and 13, are still at home and all in school.

Half of Clara’s income is now down to sesame alone. Her entrepreneurial spirit has seen her take full advantage of everything she learnt and together with the sesame seeds and snacks she now sells sesame flour, sweets and a sesame drink, that according to Clara is just like coffee.

Success has brought confidence and Clara is now chairperson of the Tubelike Farming group and has formed another sesame group, happy to pass on her training to its 24 members using a smartphone app.

“I am motivated to help others because I want success for the community.”

She is also happy to pass on to us the sesame snack recipe that has played such an important part in her success.

Clara’s Sesame Snacks

Ingredients:
500g raw sesame seeds
One cup white sugar
Oil for greasing

Method: Oil a flat surface where you will roll out and prepare the snacks
1. Heat the sugar in a pot over a medium heat, stirring to prevent it from burning. The sugar should start to melt and brown slightly.
2. Once it’s liquid, add the sesame seeds and continue to stir constantly to prevent sticking and burning. The sugar will continue to brown.
3. Stir until the sesame seeds are toasted, but not burnt.
4. Pour the sesame-sugar mixture onto a flat, oiled surface, it will be very hot!
5. Use a wooden rolling pin to roll out the sesame mixture flat, about 5mm in thickness.
6. Once rolled, immediately cut the sesame into diamond shapes. This has to be done while the mixture is still warm, otherwise the sugar will harden and be too difficult to cut.

Find out more about Farm Africa’s work supporting sesame farmers in Tanzania at www.farmafrica.org/tanzania/sesame-marketing

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