According to this recent article in The Economist, Seed Change’s model of tackling poverty is pretty close to the ideal. The article outlines recent work done by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo (and several others) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (who are also authors of the highly readable and informative Poor Economics of a few years
In February 2015 we delivered our first trees to smallholders in Kigoma. A momentous occasion not just for us and the farmers but also the Kigoma region and, yes we’ll say it, Tanzania. This was the first time the highest quality oil palm trees in the world have made it to Kigoma and Tanzania. Jackson,
Exciting news! We’ve been selected to pilot test a smallholder specific approach to High Conversation Value (HCV) area assessment. Conducting an HCV assessment is the major requirement to obtaining recognition as certified sustainable by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Once we have completed the assessment, Seed Change will be well on the way
What do you get if you combine 3.5 hectares of land, 31,000 poly bags, turned inside out and with holes poked into them, 3,400kg of DAP fertilizer, 400 tons of soil – sifted to remove stones, roots, and assorted foreign bodies, 2,951m of PVC pipes, 176 sprinklers, 4 water tanks, 3 water pumps, a whole
We’ve moved our nursery! Seed Change’s nursery is now located on the grounds of the Luiche Secondary School in Kamara Village. We are very lucky to be using this land as the Luiche School is centrally located to our program villages and is only 15 mins from Kigoma town (our previous nursery site was a
As the impact of Seed Change grows so does our workforce. In January this year Said Ruba (pictured right) joined our team as our new Seed Nursery Manager. Managing 30,000 seedlings is a big job. But luckily Said is up to the task. A Kigoma local and oil palm farmer himself he also has over three decades
Mlinda village, Kigoma region. You won’t find Mlinda on any map. That’s not a just a cliché, it’s physically not on maps. Satellite photos maybe, but printed find-them-in-an-atlas maps? No. Does this make it even remotely unique in Tanzania? Certainly not. And it is far for unique in many other ways as well. Maize/cassava based
Guest blog post by Andrew Benn After more than a year supporting Seed Change from the comfort of Perth, I was lucky enough to spend December in Kigoma getting my hands dirty. I managed to squeeze in a day of looking at lions in the Serengeti before jumping on the bus to Kigoma in the
There are roughly 80,000 smallholders farming oil palm trees in Kigoma. That’s ~200,000 acres and at 57 trees/acres (the correct spacing), that’s 11,400,000 low-yielding trees that should be replaced with our high-yielding ones. Our nursery has a capacity of 30,000 trees which is enough trees for about 400 farmers. But 80,000 farmers need trees. Square
Sometimes a particular statistic can cut through a lot. I live in rural Tanzania and so daily see how different people lives are than where I grew up (Perth, Western Australia) but it is sometimes not until you see things quantified just how different that is. (Note here that I write this post as a
In the first half of this dual post I discussed the environmental damage that has been caused by expanding oil palm plantations in South-East Asia. Basically this huge deforestation by large companies expanding their plantations to feed the global demand for palm oil has come at a great cost to both the atmosphere and the
Stick the words “palm oil” into google and a quick scan will paint a pretty bleak picture of what was once known as “the golden crop”. Facebook groups urge you to not buy products with oil palm in them (you’d be surprised how many products that is!). NGOs decry the spread of plantations. Newspapers run
Seed Change Managing Director Alex Chetkovich talks with Fran Kelly. Yesterday morning our Managing Director Alex Chetkovich was interviewed by Fran Kelly on Radio National Breakfast. Click here to check it out (go easy, he might have been a bit nervous!).
After months of planning, building, researching, and a good bit of hoping, today we planted our first hybrid seeds in our newly constructed greenhouse. All the way from Costa Rica, the seeds enjoyed planes journeys from San Jose through Panama, Amsterdam, and Nairobi, to Bujumbura in Burundi. From there, a car ride to Kigoma followed, before overnighting (in my lounge room) in town before we chauffeured them to the...