A Passion for the Passion Fruit Business

Jennifer lives in Buhozi village with her husband and their young child. When we first met, their situation was dire. For years Jennifer had tried to grow crops using traditional farming methods resulting in extremely low yields. This meant her family faced food shortage on a regular basis and seldom had anything left to sell. They were barely scraping by, making an average of $1.50 per month.

When Raising The Village launched full scale implementation in her community, Jennifer took the first step and began participating in the programs and training available, specifically: animal care and management, compost manure making, land care and soil erosion control, financial literacy and savings, as well as passion fruit growing.

She learned quickly and gained lots of new skills, but passion fruit growing stood out as something she was especially interested in. In a short period of time, Jennifer’s passion fruit harvest began to increase dramatically. She started selling passion fruit and over time her monthly income increased to an average of $10.80 per month—and this was just from the sales of passion fruit!

With the success of her passion fruit business, we asked Jennifer what she decided to do with the new increased income:

“I have been using the proceeds from the sales of passion fruits carefully by investing in productive ventures: my new 4 bedroom house is nearing completion, and I also bought a mature female pig that ready to mate. The passion fruit is also consumed by my family and it has significantly improved our nutrition. Some family members eat the fruit while others prefer squeezing it for juice.”

Jennifer is committed to her passion fruit growing project because it has proved to be beneficial to her and the entire family. She has continued to expand her farm and gain more knowledge thanks to routine RTV project monitoring and follow ups.

We talked with Jennifer about our partnerships and why it has been so successful in her community. She pointed out that what makes Raising The Village different from other organizations active in the area is our effort and focus on empowering community members. This has resulted in improved household income, improved hygiene and sanitation, and has strengthened the Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLA).

It has also given opportunity to new entrepreneurs like Jennifer, with new goals and ambitions for the future:

“I have a burning desire to fully complete my new house, using the proceeds from the weekly sales of my passion fruits, and through the various VSLAs I am participating in. I am very confident and hopeful of achieving my goal in the near future thanks to Raising The Village.”