8 December 2012

Tanzania: Kilimo Kwanza Concept Explained

KILIMO Kwanza programme objectives are misconceived by the public, many thinking it involves turning forest areas into agricultural land. This was noted here in Tanga by experts attending a workshop on raising stakeholders' awareness on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation and sustainable management of forests.

Contributing in the workshop during deliberations, REDD+ Task Force Member from the Ministry of Lands and Human Settlement Development Ms Bertha Mlonda said the Government started Kilimo Kwanza Programme with a focus on encouraging the use of modern technologies to increase food production in the country, however the programme's objective advocate for conserving the environment.

"The public's idea of Kilimo Kwanza is that they have a permit to expand their farmlands, to forest areas, which is not right," Ms Bertha explained. Ms Mlonda noted that the government should use experts from different sectors, including the agriculture, land and forestry to provide public education on the right objectives of the Kilimo Kwanza programme.

She said since the programme was started there has been an increase in people destroying water sources, forests, activities leading to climate change. Ms Mlonda noted that Kilimo Kwanza programme brings big return on investments in the food sector, but should have participatory plans that involve the public at all levels including the village level.

Earlier on, a research officer from the Tanzania Forest Research Institute, Mr Emmanuel Japhet, said in order to reduce the rate at which forests are being destroyed in the country due to the demand for charcoal the government needs to provide public education on use of alternative sources of fuel and energy.

Mr Japhet explained that alternative energies such as solar and gas will help address issue of Green House Emissions (GHC), thereby reducing effects of Climate Change.

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