The overal objective of the project is to demonstrate effective and efficient strategies that support poor, rural households in Tanzania to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change and to alleviate poverty.
The project will support 8 communities living near high biodiversity forests in the East Usambara Mountains to increase and diversify incomes, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change-related impacts.
Total Cost (EUR): 1 364 449
EU contracted amount (EUR): 1 091 560
Duration: February 2015 - February 2019
Implementing organisation: ONGAWA INGENIERIA PARA EL DESARROLLO HUMANO ASOCIACION
Funding Instrument: DCI - Environment and sustainable management of natural resources including energy
Benefitting zone: Tanzania
Sylvester Mziray, Agricultural Officer for Muheza District
With climate change models in Tanzania predicting an increase in annual average temperatures, and less reliable rainfall with longer and hotter dry seasons, farmers are turning their attention to climate change adaptation measures and growing crops in places that were once untenable. In the past, black pepper would never have flourished in mountainous areas, growing typically in hot and humid regions, but due to gradual increases in temperature, the spice is thriving at higher altitudes in Tanzania, such as in the East Usambara mountains in north-east Tanzania. Villagers taking part in The Integrated Approaches for Climate Change Adaptation in the East Usambara Mountains project, one of five initiatives, which falls under the EU funded Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) in Tanzania, are taking advantage of this new phenomenon and planting black pepper is becoming more and more common.
Spicing it up
Villagers greatly depend on the eco-system for their livelihoods, which are increasingly becoming threatened due to climate change, so trying out different crops offers one small solution.
Highly versatile, black pepper is added to almost every type of recipe imaginable, was once worshipped by the gods as a sacred offering, and fetches up to 10 USD per kilogramme in Tanzania. It comes in fourth place in terms of financial yield, after vanilla, cardamom, and nutmeg. The spice comes from the pepper plant, a smooth woody vine that can grow up to 33 feet in hot and humid tropical climates but it is now thriving at higher altitudes. It is hoped that more farmers will begin to grow the crop as a secure form of income generation. "I have had two successful seasons growing this crop and will continue doing so as the demand for pepper is high", said local farmer Saidi Mtunguja, who recently attended the National Climate Change conference on behalf of communities in Muheza, facilitated by GCCA Tanzania project, ECO-ACT.
Representative from the Vice President’s Office, responsible for the environment in Tanzania, George Kafumu, Principal Environment Officer credited the five GCCA Tanzania projects with paving the way to encouraging other communities to adapt to climate change and become more resilient. "Much of what is being achieved in Tanzania in terms of dealing with changing weather patterns, which is leading to drought in parts of the country and food insecurity, needs to be done in partnership with communities, local authorities and central government", he said. The GCCA Tanzania programme is proving that engaging communities and working with the district and central government is the key to addressing these environmental concerns. "Governments cannot do the work alone and that’s why we need to come together. We see ourselves very much as partners with GCCA Tanzania," Mr. Kafumu added.