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Submitted by Web Master on 12 March 2021

PELUM Association is a regional network of over 250 civil society organizations in 12 countries in East, Central and Southern Africa working in the area of participatory ecological land use management. The Association works to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and the sustainability of farming communities, by fostering ecological land use management. Country chapters include Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland and Ethiopia. The association has its headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia coordinating activities of the country chapters.

PELUM Tanzania is a legally registered network of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that have come together to facilitate and promote networking, learning and advocacy in participatory ecological land use management. It was founded in 1995 by five Member Organizations (MOs) and currently it has grown up to 42 MOs spread all over Tanzania serving over 1.2 million male and female smallholder farmers. PELUM Tanzania headquarters is in Morogoro Municipality.

PELUM Tanzania is mandated to promote ecological land use management for improved livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Tanzania mainland through networking, capacity building, documentation and communication, and advocacy. PELUM Tanzania target groups are the Member Organizations while the beneficiaries are the smallholder farmers and livestock keepers supported by those members.

Interventions: 

Ecological Organic Agriculture 

Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) is an African Initiative with the Mission: To promote ecologically sound strategies and practices among diverse stakeholders in production, processing, marketing and policy making to safeguard the environment, improve livelihoods, alleviate poverty and guarantee food security. EOA is implemented through the project: “Mainstreaming Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) into National Policies, Strategies and Programmes in Africa 2014-2018”. This project is being implemented in eight countries in Eastern and Eastern Africa. The Eastern Africa countries are Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia while the Western Africa countries will be Nigeria, Mali, Senegal and Benin.

The initiative (EOA) is driven by four strategically focused pillars namely: Research, Training and Extension; Information and Communication; Value Chain and Market Development; and Supporting and Cementing steering, coordination and management.

Project Goal: To mainstream Ecological Organic Agriculture into national agricultural production systems by 2025 in order to improve agricultural productivity, food security, access to markets and sustainable development in Africa.

Farmers Access to Markets

Tanzania has a huge market potential for agricultural and value- added products.  Nevertheless, a number of constraints unless addressed threaten to undermine this potential.  Smallholder farmers face numerous challenges in accessing agro-markets including inadequate quantities and quality, limited access to market information, limited capacities of farmers and livelihood support organizations on entrepreneurship, limited policy support to market access, absence of smallholder farmer friendly financial services and poor infrastructure.

Through this program, PELUM Tanzania intends to:

a. Establish agri-business Development and Market Linkages among chain actors and the smallholder farmers;

b. Enhance capacities of Member Organizations to conduct market related advocacy engagements;

c. Mainstream gender across the entire value chain; and

d. Build the institutional capacity of member organisation.

The program is anticipated to be participatory in nature, involving PELUM Country Secretariat, Member Organizations, PELUM Tanzania market access & advocacy thematic committees, and smallholder farmers. The inclusive participation of smallholder farmers in the project implementation will add more value to the advocacy engagement since the affected smallholder farmers will be speaking for themselves.

Land Rights for Smallholder Farmers

Land in Tanzania constitutes one of the major four resources namely land, forest, water and minerals. About 82% of the total Tanzanian rural population is employed in agricultural sector, ensures food security and national security in general. Land must be available for agricultural activities to take place.

In the 1990s, the government of Tanzania embarked in the policy and legal framework formulation process which culminated in the formulation of the national land policy of 1995 and enactment of the Land Laws 1999 both village Land Act no.5, 1999 and the Land Act no.4, 1999.  However, less effort has been directed towards raising smallholder farmers’ awareness on the land legal framework formulated, potentials of larger agricultural investments in relation to the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers, sustainable agriculture and the country’s sustainable development in general. Our development hypothesis is that if smallholder farmers are empowered to play their roles in land rights governance, village land will be used for sustainable development and then local governments will increase accountability to its citizens resulting into improved livelihoods.

PELUM Tanzania and its implementing members/sub grantees will achieve this through empowering smallholder farmers and local leaders by building capacities on land rights governance, networking and advocacy at village, district and national level and use of land rights related Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials. Our efforts will result in increased transparency, accountability and inclusive participation in decision making on village land rights for improved livelihoods.

Promoting Local Innovation 

Promoting Local Innovation (PROLINNOVA) is an international multi-stakeholder program established to build a global learning and advocacy network for promoting local innovation in ecologically-oriented agriculture and natural resources management (NRM). The programme focuses on recognizing the dynamics of indigenous knowledge (IK) and learning how to strengthen the capacities of smallholder farmers to adjust to changing conditions in order to develop and adapt their own site-appropriate systems and institutions of resource management to attain food security, sustain their livelihoods and safeguard the environment. The programme builds on and seeks to scale up farmer-based research and development approaches that start with discovering how farmers (innovators) carry out informal experiments to develop and test new ideas for improved use of natural resources, to increase production, to conserve the environment and to solve any other social problem they are facing.  The key issues that are addressed by the program include the following:

a. Change of mindset of development actors to value the role and contributions from indigenous knowledge to ensure client control over priorities setting and resources management,

b. Establishment and strengthening of multi-stakeholder partnerships to increase participation, ownership, accountability and sustainability of the programme Ensure quality services delivery and management of resources based on proper participatory planning, implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) procedures and development of up-scaling/out-scaling strategies for potential local innovations/ technologies.

Seed Rights for Smallholder Farmers

The majority of smallholder farmers are depending on the use the seeds from informal seed systems. In Tanzania, 83% of smallholder farmers use seeds from the informal seed system while the formal seed system supplies only 17% of the seeds used by smallholder farmers (Agricultural Sample Census 2007/2008). Tanzanian smallholder farmers produce an average of 95% of the national food demand. Thus there is a need of recognizing the relatively large potential of the informal seed system in the country and the need for encouraging, supporting and improving this system for income, food and nutrition security.

Although the majority of the smallholder farmers use seed from the informal system, there is limited understanding and recognition of the importance of local knowledge in seed management, and limited understanding of the state of the agro-biodiversity from which seed is drawn, and the implications of this for future seed and food security. Moreover, stakeholders do not acknowledge the linkage and functioning of local seed systems and its importance in the formal seed system.

The program hypothesis is that if farmer owned seed system, and indigenous knowledge in seed management is promoted then seed sovereignty, income, food security will be ensured resulting into preservation and conservation of seed-biodiversity. In this program PELUM Tanzania intends to strengthen the capacity of its Member organizations in seed production and management. In turn member organizations will facilitate smallholder farmers to produce and use quality seeds in their respective localities. Moreover, PELUM Tanzania will advocate for the seed legal framework that recognizes smallholder farmers’ seed rights.

Farmer owned seed system ensures diversity of seeds; diversity of strategies to access seeds (own multiplication, seed exchanges, seed sharing, buying from local markets/neighbours); fair seed price from local markets; and timely availability of quality seeds to smallholder farmers. This contributes to income, food and nutrition security as well as the preservation and conservation of agro-biodiversity