Food production training makes cents
Thirty-five-year old Alwaia Ahmed Elnigai might have never known she had an entrepreneurial streak in her had she not decided to participate in the RRP food processing course that was offered in Tuaakin, a small and sleepy village with little economic activity in River Nile State.
“I had no income, and not much to do so when the opportunity to take the food production training course came up, I decided to go,” she said.
Little did she know that the training would give her the skills she needed to run a small business and the income she needed to support her children. The 10-day course, led by African Charitable Society for Mother and Child Care, trained 10 women in food processing; including how to make cookies, jams, syrups and juice. The training was part of the RRP livelihoods intervention in River Nile State that aims to increase income generating activities in rural communities.
After the course ended Alwaia started experimenting with the baking techniques she learned. She found that she had a knack for making cookies.
“I bought a bit of flour, a bit of sugar and step by step my creations improved,” she said.
She began taking it to the local market to sell. As the demand for Alwaia’s sweets grew, so did her desire to run a business. She now takes special orders from members of the surrounding communities. Once the orders are ready, she uses the village bus to travel to her customers and drop off the cookies. Alwaia sells around 200 SDGs worth of cookies a month, and the cost of making them is 105 SDGs. The 95 SDGs profit is shared with the two women who help her bake.
“This gives me hope, I would like to expand my business and have more customers”, she said. “Being able to make my own money gives me a sense of independence that I never had before.”