Morogoro is a beautiful city in Tanzania located in the eastern part of the country. It is famously known for its diverse and beautiful natural landscapes, including the Uluguru Mountains, the East African coastal forests and national parks. All these areas are crucial since they provide habitat to many plants and animals, health of mountain ecosystems which in turns helps to protect water catchment areas. Due to number of human activities some of the areas have been destroyed and after a severe drought (Kijazi and Reason, 2009), the government has become increasingly aware that the mountains are the most critical water shed in Tanzania, so they need to be protected with permanent cover.
Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) has been running since 2016 the Uluguru Spice Project (USP) and has reached over 1600 farmers within the Uluguru Mountain. The project aims to help small scale farmers to benefit from organic farming, reduce poverty, increase climate resilience, and reduce the pressure on the environment thus protecting the watershed areas in the mountains. Since 2021 the project has been collaborating with the affiliated company SAT Holistic Group LTD, co-owned 45% by farmer cooperatives. This strategic move allowed SAT to become strong in developing the organic spice value chains for farmers.
Trees can help protect water catchment areas; therefore, spice trees are an ideal crop to cover the mountains and at the same time farmers benefiting from the lucrative market of their produce. Now with the need to develop the whole idea, the Regional Commissioner called SAT NGO, SAT Holistic Group Ltd, Viridium, Trianon and others. A joined consortium that was launched to work on a concept note on how to work with farmers in block farms. Important to mention is that all agreed that the vision should be 100% organic Uluguru Mountains, which for instance, could be achieved through a Biosphere Reserve.
From there onwards the Regional Commissioner Hon. Fatma Mwassa and 9 delegates visited SAT town offices in Morogoro on 24th January 2023 to receive from Viridium, SAT NGO and SAT Holistic group LTD a total of 10 clove trees which each of it symbolizes 1,000 tress in nurseries of the CHAUWAVIMU cooperative. The Chairman Evarist John of 786 member of CHAUWAVIMU cooperative said that farmers are eager to plant and have tripled their business since 2021. Alex Wostry said that it will be easy for the cooperative to plant every year additional 100.000 trees in nurseries to help the government and companies to scale the spice production to other farmers. According to the RC, farmers should concentrate more on organic farming and the production of spices in order to reduce poverty and safeguarding the environment.
SAT has become an acknowledged NGO, having capacity in developing organic value chains. This becomes important to facilitate PPP partnerships, which can bring impactful changes to small-scale farmers who can produce a premium crop with an assured market. SAT NGO will further specialise and offer training for Organic Certrification preperation via using Internal Control Standards. It will be the first training centre in Africa offering such courses.
The USP Project is kindly supported by
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