One of the tricky questions in addressing drivers of forest degradation in Tanzania is how…
EAMCEF believes that, if local communities in Mbomole Village (Muheza District) are food secured, little degradation happens on forests, and vice versa. Food insecurity drive villagers to invade nearby forests in search for commercial timber, poles and wild meat so they can afford buying food for the families, or pay school fees. In this village, food insecurity is caused by inadequate harvests resulting from poor farming techniques on slopes of the village land. Since slopes cannot retain water for long time, most crops die, soil nutrients get washed away, soil erosion destroy crops resulting into poor harvests and food insecurity. In the state of food insecurity, the forests become the easiest victim, the free source of income. EAMCEF intervened through introduction of soil and water conservation techniques using bench terraces.
Kilimo cha makingamaji’ [conservation agriculture] was introduced to our farming group called ANGAZIA…we were very happy to see increased yield to suffice household food needs throughout the year. In the past, maize harvests could only feed the families hardly for one month. Before I adopted this technique, I was not able to do mixed farming as some crops require enough moisture to grow. Nowadays I mix maize with banana, spices and cassava and they grow up very well! My family is now food-secured. I have helped, for free, many villagers to adopt this technique, I go and teach them for free – I feel so happy indeed!
Before I started practicing conservation agriculture my harvest was not more than 2 sacks [200kg], but it’s amazing to see 7 sacks of maize coming from the same farm. I had plenty of food last year , I sold the excess and bought cows.
Through this technique, it is now possible to grow vegetables on my farm. In 2016 for example, I harvested up to 500kg of vegetables. After selling, I got TZS. 800,000 and used the money to expand my farm from 1 acre to 4 acres, but also dug a water well which I am planning to use it for irrigation.