Helping people get out of poverty. That is what gets us up in the morning. There are many ways this could be achieved and poverty can certainly take many forms. But in a region where over 80% of people directly rely on agriculture for their income, improving agricultural production must be a priority.
Kigoma is blessed with reliable rainfall and fertile soil. Palm oil trees are native to the region and prosper in western Tanzania. There are more than 30,000 oil palm farming families in the region with incomes hovering around $1 per day. With strong growth in demand for palm oil products all over the world, developing the smallholder palm oil industry in Kigoma is a clear path to prosperity.
Instead of oil palm monocultures, Seed Change distributes agroforestry systems to farmers that include over thirty different crops and tree species. The benefits include:
- Diversified income: This system starts generating income in its first year and brings farmers money year-round, instead of during just one or two harvest seasons.
- Improved nutrition: The combination of fruit trees, staple crops, and market garden vegetables provide smallholder households with a more balanced diet that better meets the nutritional needs of growing children.
- Healthier soils: The nutrient fixing cover crops and compost inject essential nutrients back into the soil, to keep the system running without the need for expensive and harmful chemical fertilizers. Additional trees help maintain soil structure, reduce erosion, and keep the land cool during the harsh dry season.
- Better farmers: Our training and mentorship ensure that farmers have the tools and support they need to properly manage their oil palm agroforestry plot.
Read our Theory of Change to gain an in-depth understanding of our approach.