csm header advocacy 62877f936b
    Tanzania, Food Sovereignty
    Gender Equity

    Protecting the climate, empowering women: Sustainable Agriculture in Tanzania

    Project Number: 186.1505

    Deforestation, desertification and soil contamination are causing a life-threatening situation for the population of the Mbarali district in Tanzania, which is home to around 300,000 people. 83 percent of the population work in the agricultural sector and the district's economy depends on agriculture. The project supports and promotes the planting of trees in the Mbarali district, which is particularly threatened by the consequences of climate change. The aim of the plantations is to improve the microclimate. Soil erosion is to be halted and the groundwater level raised again. By teaching agroforestry skills and putting women in charge of the project, the project promotes an improved livelihood for women, accompanied by health and nutritional benefits. The project focuses on the species Moringa (Moringa oliefera) and Neem (Azadirachta indica). The cultivation of neem seedlings will only start in the first quarter of 2024, as the Tanzanian forestry service did not have any neem seedlings available in 2023. Both trees are drought-resistant, thrive in the hot local climate of the Usangu Basin and can be processed into a variety of products. These are used in agriculture and animal husbandry and can also be used for human applications, thus helping to improve health and nutrition.

    Background information

    In the Usangu Basin in Tanzania's Mbarali District, deforestation is contributing to desertification in the semi-arid area and threatening river water supplies. This in turn has far-reaching implications for the natural ecology and hydropower supply of the region. Increasing population pressure in the region and the attractiveness of rice and groundnuts as cash crops have led to intensification of agricultural production by smallholder farmers. The use of agricultural chemicals leads to soil contamination. This pollution of the environment further worsens living conditions. Most of the agriculture practiced depends on rainfall. Drought, exacerbated by deforestation, creates food insecurity and health problems, especially for women and children. 

    Project goals

    • Sensitize stakeholders to gain government and community approval and secure land contributions.
    • Identification of 8 women's groups (80 women in total) as project owners of 2 nurseries, each with an associated borehole well and 8 demonstration plots for arboriculture, and 3 each of neem and moringa demonstration plots. Indirect beneficiaries are the women's families (about 640).

    Target group

    • 180 women and their families, 40 youth
    • 40 multipliers from parishes and politics
    • Approx. 10,000 indirect beneficiaries through well construction and educational work by multipliers


    • Training-of-trainers training for stakeholders, the Massai and Sukuma communities.
    • Establishment of the nurseries and demonstration plots.
    • Drilling irrigation wells, including tank and solar pump.
    • Raise community awareness through trained key personnel to increase demand for seedlings and tree products. Thus increased awareness of agroecology and the importance of tree planting.
    • Study tours for key organic agribusiness leaders to increase demand for organic farming inputs in the region.

    Project progress

    Last year, two wells were drilled in a semi-arid area with limited infrastructure in Mabadaga and Luhanga. The wells were equipped with solar pumps and water tanks and now provide fresh water to 3500 people. Seminars could be held with 167 women from pastoralist communities on the establishment of tree nurseries and reforestation in ecologically degraded areas: The total of three seminars were about environmental protection, tree farming and sustainable agriculture. The first demonstration plots and tree nurseries were cultivated and planted. Also, 39 church leaders and pastors, including women and youth leaders in Chimala could be trained on tree nurseries and tree planting for reforestation of the target area and agro-ecological practices. Land was prepared for two nurseries and two demonstration plots each in Mabadaga and Matebete villages. Seeds were also purchased. A local project coordinator - Tobias Theobard - was recruited. Together with a local Mission 21 staff member, he completed training on sustainable agriculture, arboriculture, and youth involvement in sustainable agriculture in order to adequately support the project.

    Project images



    • 0.45 USD/day earned on average by residents of Mbarali District
    • 44% of people in Mbarali district cannot read and write
    • 43% of potential agricultural land is not cultivated

    Project budget 2024

    CHF 46'000

    mg 9086 4

    Adrienne Sweetman

    Coordinator Tanzania


    Jacqueline Brunner

    Responsible Church Partnerships

    Tel. 061 260 23 37
    ► E-mail

    Johannes Klemm

    Team Leader Africa and Program Manager Tanzania
    Tel: +41 (0)61 260 23 04
    ► E-mail

    Hope thanks to your support

    Mission 21
    Protestant Mission Basel

    PO Box 270
    Missionsstrasse 21
    4009 Basel, Switzerland
    Tel.: +41 (0)61 260 21 20

    Donation account Switzerland:
    IBAN: CH58 0900 0000 4072 6233 2
    Tax exemption number:

    Donation account Germany:
    Savings Bank Lörrach-Rheinfelden
    Swift BIC: SKLODE66
    BLZ: 683 500 48
    IBAN: DE39 6835 0048 0001 0323 33
    Account No. : 1032333

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