Kibano Omar Kibano from Mtambwe Kaskazini village in Pemba, Tanzania, was struggling to fulfil his family’s basic needs on only 150,000 Tanzanian shillings (EUR 58) per month, which he earned as a subsistence farmer. In a bid to improve his income, Kibano turned to spice farming and began cultivating vanilla, black pepper, and cinnamon. But soon thereafter, his vanilla plants wilted badly, putting his crop at risk. An awareness-raising meeting of Community Forests Pemba (CFP), a sub-project of the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) in Tanzania, gave him a glimmer of hope.
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About the GCCA+ and CFP
GCCA+ is a European Union flagship initiative to support the world’s most vulnerable countries in their efforts to address climate change. The initiative started in 2008 with four pilot projects and has grown to fund over 70 projects in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. CFP is one such project that aims to strengthen Pemba community members’ resilience against climate change.
Support, Expansion, and Giving Back
During the CFP awareness-raising meeting, Kibano asked for assistance in saving his wilting vanilla plants. The CFP sent a team to his farm and they worked to revive Kibano’s vanilla crop. He joined the project the same day and has received training and support ever since. He used the resources provided to him to good effect. “I’ve worked with CFP for two years and receive extensive training. The quality and quantity of my spices are much better now,” Kibano said. “I’ve increased the number of my vanilla plants from 200 to 570, black pepper plants from 7 to 15, and I now have 50 cinnamon and 15 cardamom plants."
Thanks to the growth in his crops, Kibano has been able to increase his monthly income to 200,000 TZS (EUR 78) per month, allowing him to provide his family three solid meals a day and put his eldest through secondary school. His next goal is to invest further in spice farming by producing seedlings to sell. His longer-term objective is to earn 6M TZS (EUR2,160) per year and be able to send his children to university by investing exclusively in spice farming. But in the meantime, he’s giving back to his community by using his farm as a field school to teach other farmers the skills they need to improve their crop yields and provide for their families as well.
This article was contributed by Joanna Martin, GCCA Tanzania, Visibility and Communications Expert.
Watch this video from GCCA+ on how their work helps farmers adapt to the effects of climate change, enabling them to grow spices and other crops in mountainous areas.