Enhancing women’s diversification into tree growing for climate resilience
This climate resilience case study (No.7) from Tanzania is the seventh of ten case studies prepared by forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) for the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF).
It describes the actions of the Tanzania Tree Growers Associations Union (TTGAU) that supports its members to find nature based solutions (NbS) that give climate resilience – with a particular focus on women’s empowerment.
TTGAU was established in 2017 to promote the social and economic interests of smallholder tree growers in Tanzania. It represents a total of 10,106 tree growers of whom 3,224 are women and 6,802 are men, grouped into 146 regional associations. Tanzanian smallholder tree growers account for the majority of Tanzania’s planted forests (174,000 hectares) compared to 100,000 ha owned by the state; and 54,000 hectares under five larger industrial plantation companies.
The majority of TTGAU members are subsistence farmers growing various crops like maize, beans, wheat, potatoes and horticultural crops to earn their living. But timber production now seems a promising market opportunity – and TTGAU helps them gain market access. Climate change affects not only tree planting, but also associated farming activities, which TTGAU members see as one integrated reality. Change in rainfall patterns, increased temperatures and occurrence of pests and diseases both forestry and agriculture.
For smallholder farmers, diversification into tree growing is one way to ensure that at least some components of their farming system provide returns. While TTGAU’s main support is linked to timber, it has also been helping members to diversify into fruit trees such as avocado and other forest income generating activities such as beekeeping.
In terms of resilience, TTGAU is working with local government authorities (LGAs) and families to facilitate women and young people access to land through customary certificates of right of occupancy (CCROs). TTGAU also helps regional tree grower’s associations (TGAs) take on the agro-dealer role, so that farm and forest inputs such as seed, fertiliser, pesticides, tools are available in local areas, in a timely manner and at lower cost. TTGAU has been both introducing diversified new species of Pine and Eucalypt and promoting the establishment of seed orchards to provide improved tree seeds, and nurseries to grow up the plants. As a result of these agronomic and economic diversification strategies TTGAU is demonstrating how organizational innovations within and between groups can help its members with more climate resilient livelihoods.