Press Releases 2008
More Animals, More Money at Manyara Ranch
May 7, 2008
The Livestock for Livelihoods project at Manyara Ranch received TZS 86.7 million worth of equipment from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of a two-year $1.1 million grant to improve income generation, provide training for community-based natural resource management, add value for livestock, and develop infrastructure.
The equipment handed over by USAID Tanzania Mission Director Pamela White included a new Massey Ferguson tractor with trailer, a heavy duty baler for baling hay to fatten cattle, and a disc plough and harrow.
The central aim of the Livestock for Livelihoods Project and related programs supported by the American people, in partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), is to help eradicate poverty among the Maasai and other pastoralist communities while simultaneously protecting landscapes, livestock and wildlife. Three thousand households are benefiting from the project by upgrading their cattle breed and market linkages. The project includes a feedlot, abattoir and cold chain for storage, transport and marketing. Through the feedlot, cattle gain 50-100kg above the conventional weight, generating an additional $200-$300 per head of cattle.
A great deal has been accomplished since the year 2000 when nine villages surrounding the ranch began receiving assistance from the American people. Support for conservation in Manyara Ranch has resulted in improved water sources, purchase of vehicles and equipment, and support for game scouts to ensure security of wildlife. In addition, the Manyara Ranch Primary school was relocated away from a key wildlife migration corridor (Kwa kuchinja) connecting Tarangire and Manyara national parks, greatly contributing to their sustainability.
Wildlife has come back to the ranch for the first time in many years with an abundance of game including giraffe, elephants, ostrich, and zebras. These animals are attracting tourists with money to spend. Communities in the Burunge Wildlife Management Area, just south of the ranch, are to receive $60,000 per year as part of a leasing agreement with two new eco-lodges. The Manyara Ranch itself is negotiating an $800,000 deal to establish a high-end tourist lodge on the premises.
Livestock for Livelihoods is part of USAID's broader support in the Tarangire-Lake Manyara ecosystem with related livelihood improvement efforts including the Mshikamano Women’s Group in Mwada. U.S. Ambassador Mark Green inaugurated the Mwada Mshikamano Women’s Group Weaving Enterprises during his visit to Babati District in Arusha on March 20, 2008. The group has received training for business skills, product development and design, marketing, and quality control. The Mshikamano Women’s Group is now earning income from baskets and has built a new business center that serves as an office, store, and a meeting point to conduct business and continue training and capacity building. The women’s business center also benefits non-members who are given access to sell their products for their own benefit at no charge.
The Mshikamano Women’s Group joins the established Esilalei Maasai Women’s Cultural Boma in demonstrating the impact of USAID Tanzania’s investment in women-focused micro-enterprise development. Together, these women’s groups have realized $12,000 in sales in just three months. With increased sales, livestock improvements, healthier eco-systems and wildlife, and more tourists coming every year, the future for people in these communities is looking better every day.
For further information on this and other activities, please visit us at http://tanzania.usembassy.gov.