Taking the bait

LivelihoodsAgricultural EconomicsFishingTanzania

In Tanzania, 59-year-old Benjamin is living proof that it’s never too late to change.

Benjamin used to be a small-scale farmer. Occasionally, he was able to sell the surplus maize, rice, and beans that he grew and make a small amount of profit. But most of the time his yields were barely enough to feed his wife and five children.

Life may have continued in this hand-to-mouth way had it not been for Tearfund partner Mikoto Church and their Church and Community Mobilisation Process (CCMP).

Benjamin showing one of his fish ponds

A different kettle of fish
Whilst attending CCMP Bible studies at his local church, Benjamin’s outlook started to change. Benjamin realised that, if he could farm fish, he would have a good market as the villages around him were a long way from Lake Victoria.

Inspired, Benjamin used money that he had borrowed from a savings and loans group to transform his farm into a fishpond. He hired labourers to dig the pond seven metres deep, 45m long and 13m wide. He then bought 1,200 of tilapia (fish) and 3,500 mudfish to fill it with. Benjamin now makes his own fish food out of maize flour, rice-husks, poultry-waste and sardines and has almost 8,000 fish. He expects to sell them for £1.50 each – enough to pay back his loan, care for his family and have money to spare.

Benjamin providing explanation on how he maintains the fish ponds

Benjamin says ‘Before, I had no ideas for supporting myself and my family other than cultivation, but CCMP has changed my thinking.’

Benjamin is now looking forward to casting his net even wider and using his profits to build four more fish ponds.


  • Praise God for his provision and for the huge success of Benjamin’s fish business.

  • Pray that more people would be inspired to transform their lives through the Church and Community Mobilisation Process.

  • Give thanks for the churches in Tanzania. Pray that they would be equipped and inspired to be God’s hands and feet in their communities.

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