Upscaling climate smart agriculture via micro finance in Tanzania
Duration: October 1, 2017 – March 31, 2020
Summary: This project “CSA/SuPER – Upscaling CSA with small-scale food producers organised via VSLAs: Financing for adoption, behavioural change and resilience in rural Iringa Region, Tanzania” will provide practical and conceptual insight in the appropriate combinations of business training (through Farmer Field & Business Schools – FFBS) and financial services (through Village Savings & Loans Associations – VSLA) that support community-based adaptation (CBA) action plans for dovetailing empowerment and upscaling/graduation towards climate change mitigation with social and gender inclusiveness. Combining action research and lab-in-the-field experiments we develop and test rigorous models and tools for interactive learning and validation towards integrated impact assessment that generate better insights into operational pathways towards CSA scaling while considering simultaneous changes in (intra)household behaviour, production systems and value chain interactions. This multi-level approach towards scaling partnerships enables public and private agents to engage into mutually beneficial sustainable, profitable, equitable and resilient (SuPER) strategies and arrangements that support female farmers’ engagement into nitrogen recycling practices, nutrition-sensitive value chains, improved dietary diversity and effective risk sharing and portfolio management.
CCAFS project alignment: This research proposal is embedded in the Kukua na Kujifunza (KNK) CARE project in Tanzania focussing on smallholder women farmers in Iringa Rural District. CARE will use existing VSLAs, (possible new) FFBSs, and similar collectives as entry points for developing value chains for diversified agro-food products. KNK will target five value chains (soya, maize, onions, tomatoes and poultry) that are linked through intercropping and input complementarities (animal feeding, composting). The soya chain will be analysed in more detail in the current research proposal, since this includes a.o. nitrogen-fixing properties that improve soil health and yields through intercropping and integrated farm management.
CARE and CCAFS have a strategic collaboration agenda to support the upscaling of gender equitable CSA/SuPER approaches with small-scale women producers in Iringa Rural District (see map). A key area of interest lies in understanding the potential role(s) of different kinds of finance (credit, savings), the relevance and efficacy of different types of business management support (training, FFBS), and the opportunities to engage with a range of value chain actors (trade contracts), in support of the ambitions of climate change resilience and food and nutrition security.
CIAT/P4S is involved in mapping climate risk profiles for the Iringa region, as well as estimating the socio-environmental cost-benefits of CSA practices, both on the basis of methods deployed in the P4S programme. This WOTRO program will support the analyses of farmers’ responses and impact of different types (and combinations) of CSA supportive instruments on the envisaged program outputs/outcomes.