Indufor implemented the Private Forestry Programme (PFP) in Tanzania from 2013 to 2019. The programme was designed to capture the opportunities for the forest sector to become an important actor in economic development in Tanzania, providing income and employment to the rural population, above all. The programme was a long-term partnership between the Governments of Tanzania and Finland, supporting private plantation forestry and strengthening wood industries in the Southern Highlands. This cooperation was continued with the second phase of the programme: Participatory Plantation Forestry Programme (PFP 2). Read more: Link
It is estimated that in Tanzania, by 2050, domestic demand for forest products will more than double to some 5 million m3 per year (roundwood equivalent). Unless the domestic wood industry production grows, the existing trade deficit in forest products will continue to increase. The economic growth projections combined with investment opportunities, especially in the Southern Highlands, provide for good opportunities for the forest sector to grow. During the first phase of the programme, the foundation has been laid and the first steps taken towards a real transformation of the forest sector.
Facilitation of Forest Sector Transformation – Achievements
The programme worked to ease several barriers to forest sector transformation, ranging from the policy and regulatory framework to inadequate information and weak capacities and skills.
The PFP team provided specialist knowledge to support broad stakeholder participation in the formulation of the new forest policy. The new draft policy was based on a good understanding of smallholder private forestry and small wood-processing industries, and therefore it is likely to provide an appropriate framework for inclusive and business-enabling forest sector strategy, legislation and regulations.
A total of 12,000 ha of new smallholder-owned forest plantations across 120 villages were established as a direct result of the programme support schemes, generating a major economic asset and a carbon sink. In addition, 93 ha of seed orchards derived from highly improved parent trees of nine different species of pine, eucalyptus and teak were established in eight different locations in the Southern highlands. With proper management of these seed orchards, Tanzania is set to produce enough seeds of these 10 major commercial tree species not only to make the country self-sufficient but also to export.
Through many economic analyses carried out by the team, information is now available on existing plantations and investment opportunities. This information is fundamental for a greater understanding of the barriers and opportunities for forest sector development, both among decision-makers and potential investors. A total of 19 000 hectares of available land has subsequently been acquired for forest investment.
Transformation of the SME Wood Industry
The programme established the Forest Wood and Industry Training Centre (FWITC) in Mafinga in the Southern Highlands, a vocational training centre providing innovation, inspiration and demonstration of improved technologies. More than 30 sawmills have upgraded their processing technologies and doubled their sawnwood production. The FWITC introduces new technologies for producing wood energy, providing alternatives to traditional charcoal production. The production of charcoal briquettes from plantation-grown wood waste is one of the innovations.
The FWITC, with new facilities and training and business planning support, acts as an incubator for further transformation of the industry. It also provides for a skilled workforce with a good understanding of safety and health issues. With the establishment of the FWITC, local industries and workers have better access to relevant training. In short, the “tools” are now in place for providing the training to fulfil capacity gaps.
New sawmill being set up in FWITC
Integration of the Tree Growers to the Industry Value Chain
The programme applied two models for service provision to the tree growers to facilitate their integration into the industry value chain. One of the models covered the outgrower schemes through two wood industry companies. The other strengthened tree growers’ organisations, which include close to 8 000 members. Their central organisation is engaged in wood sales and cooperating with the processing industry, in line with their business plan prepared with support from the PFP.
The Programme Contributed to Poverty Alleviation and Promotes Equality
Smallholder forestry gives income opportunities to the rural poor. The inclusive approach in tree-growing, microfinancing and SME development means a strong emphasis on the promotion of women’s equal participation in all income generation activities.
The programme updated the national methodology for Village Land Use Planning and supported the preparation of the actual land use plans. Through its efforts, the framework for optimal as well as socially and environmentally sound land use is now established in 59 villages covering almost 850 000 hectares of land and benefitting more than 90 000 villagers. More than 4 000 villagers, almost half of them women, have benefitted from the participation in microfinance schemes facilitated by the programme. New business ventures included different agricultural activities, shop-keeping and forestry processing.
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