Seed Change Tanzania
Farmers in the Kigoma region of Tanzania, Seed Change’s home, are among the poorest in Tanzania - their average income is under $275 per year. Kigoma smallholder farmers rely on oil palm trees, which are native to the region, for their income. They grow, process, and sell their own oil; often in recycled plastic bottles on the roadside. Whilst palm oil is in high demand globally, the farmers of Kigoma see no benefit from cultivating this lucrative crop. Their trees are the same low-yielding variety that have been farmed in the same style for 100+ years. There is no reason for farmers to be living in the 19th century. This can and should change.
Seed Change Tanzania was founded by an Australian, Alex Chetkovich. He designed our programs from the belief that the best way to lift people out of poverty – and for them to prosper – is through sustainable economic and social empowerment closely tailored to local circumstances. In April 2014 Alex was interviewed on Radio National Breakfast with Fran Kelly (www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/ seedchange-transforming-tanzanian-communities/5363932) and discussed why and how he started Seed Change.
At Seed Change we are committed to:
1. Improving livelihoods through sustainably increasing incomes
2. Empowering women by actively promoting female farmers
3. Insuring agricultural futures by securing land titles
4. Valuing the environment by committing to zero land-use change
Seed Change Tanzania has given 4,200 trees to 78 farmers to date. Currently we are growing 30,000 tenera seedlings in our nursery, which will be given to more than 350 farmers in January 2016. All 426 of our farmers receive extension services and training from us. We have 17 full-time staff members including a dedicated community development team who work closely with the farmers. We are supported by the Agricultural Improvement Fund, our nine-member Australian Advisory and Fundraising Board. Next year we are looking to purchase 100,000 seeds, which will allow us to reach an additional 700+ beneficiaries, taking our program total to over 1,100 recipient farmers.
6 Warnes Street Maylands 6051 Australia