The diversified climate-resilient business model of the Tubeleke Club
This climate resilience case study (No.10) from Zambia is the tenth 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 Tubeleke Women Club to find nature based solutions (NbS) that give climate resilience. The Tubeleke Women Club is a producer organization made up 26 members located in the south of Choma District in the semi-arid Southern Province of Zambia.
Founded in 2002, it is a women’s and youth-based club aimed at generating income through producing and selling of baskets and brooms, made from bamboo and grass. Formed originally to obtain fertilizer from a Government support programme, the group revived in 2016 to pursue its new commercial activities through business training provided by the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF). The group also developed a savings and loans fund to provide small loans or investment funds to its members.
In recent years climate change has become an increasing challenge, with increasingly erratic rains, a shortened growing season (even less than 80 days) and prolonged droughts that have devastated subsistence crop production leading to hunger and a radical drop in income. To become more climate resilient the group diversified agricultural production into a basket weaving business. Saving from the basket weaving have been used, through the savings and loan fund, to reinvest into pig and sheep rearing (neither of which depend on seasonal water). Once the livestock were in place, the group also started a bio-gas plant from animal droppings – which not only provided cooking fuel (reducing the need for fuelwood), but also provides a regular supply of slurry to fertilise crops. Additionally, the group has attempted to establish a bamboo plantation to ensure the future sustainability of our bamboo basket production.
The case study shows how, even in the poorest environments, organizational innovations that foster diversification of crops, markets and social networks can increase climate resilience for their members.