Sowing Seeds of Tumaini – “We are reducing influence of Middle Men”
In another edition of Design Hustle, we have the pleasure of meeting Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi, a lawyer by profession who is passionate about agriculture and its potential to change the development trajectory of Uganda. Let’s dive in and get to know more about her and Sowing Seeds of Tumaini.
Anita, do tell us about yourself and Sowing Seeds of Tumaini. What are you all about and what exactly is Sowing seeds of Tumaini?
I am an Advocate and Managing Partner of Newmark Advocates. I am also a farmer who started an organization to empower my fellow women farmers on better farming practices and linking them to favorable markets to reduce or stop the influence of the middle men in their businesses. The organisation works closely with agronomists to ensure that women understand the importance of better farming practices. It will allow them to improve on the quality of their produce. We are also talking to a few seed companies that can provide good quality seed so that they are assured of the crops that they are growing.
Wow! This is amazing. What was the turning point to lead you to where you are now – this moment? What or who inspired you?
The turning point for me was when our cucumbers were rejected by the brokers in Nakasero market. They claimed that the produce was below standard and that there was no market and that I should just throw them into the City Council dustbins.
At that moment, we decided to connect with family and friends who so graciously bought and consumed all the cucumbers. I had transported the produce to the market and this proved to be a real threat for the middlemen because they are used to buying from the farmers at farm gate prices. This was my light bulb moment! I decided to work with rural women farmers so that they are able to transport their produce to the market as a collective. And if they are not able to arrange their own transport, at least they would have good quality produce which enables them determine a fair price for both them and the suppliers.
Anita, that is an amazing eureka moment. But how has the journey been in building Sowing Seeds of Tumaini?
This journey has been very challenging but also very fulfilling. Working with the women in their communities has given me so much joy because I have been able to see them grow as people and experience how their lives have been impacted by the services we provide at Sowing Seeds.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to break through? How did you overcome this obstacle?
The biggest obstacle has been the attitude change. Many of the women are victims of domestic violence and have lost their self esteem. They didn’t believe that we had their best interests at heart and so they initially resisted change and our programmes. It took almost a year until they started accepting to join and share their own stories. We managed to overcome this because we were consistent with the trainings and reaching out to them. After a while, they were able to trust and believe in us. Now they even check on us when we delay to show up in the villages.
The team also exercised patience with them and were there to listen to them share their stories. It is very important to have people who will listen to what you have to say not only with their ears but also with their heart.
What is the formula for your success? What is your secret? Can you share examples of moments or products/services or clients you are proud of.
My formula for success is consistency. If you believe in something, work at it every day to ensure that it grows and always learn from the challenges that life presents to you. Never give up on your dream no matter what.
One of my secrets is making sure that I am always up by 4am just to plan for the day. Considering that there are many obstacles in our lives on a daily basis, we need time to plan and prepare our minds for the day ahead.
I am so proud of the women that we work with because they have grown and are continuing to grow and impact their communities. I am also proud of our team that works tirelessly to ensure that the programs continue and they keeping encouraging all of us everyday so we are always strong together.
It’s 2026, I turn on the TV and there you are being interviewed, what are they saying about you and your business/brand?
They will be saying that Sowing Seeds of Tumaini has been successful because I believed in it and the team embraced the brand because they also believed in the vision and mission of the company. They will also be saying that the brand is successful because I was a good leader and I was able to help members of the team grow and express themselves and they contributed towards empowering the company because they have a stake in it.
There you have it folks! We have read about Anita using her creative thinking skills to beat the drama that occurs in our markets. Soon we will be reading about how the markets have been overtaken by the farmers themselves. Stay tuned!
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