GFAR blog

YAP proposal #296: Rural Female-Headed Household Empowerment via Tree Nurseries (Ernest Lucas Hizza, Tanzania)


Project description

I am Ernest Lucas Hizza, 37, a Lecturer at Moshi Co-operative University. The impacts of climate change are evident all over the world and the group that are most threatened by are females and children. This is due to the limited options for livelihood diversification especially those living in rural areas.

Female-headed household in my village (Vuga village in Lushoto district) are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because they mostly depending on rain-fed agriculture, which is no longer stable due to changes in rainfall amount and patterns.

Forest degradation in the area has greatly impacted the agricultural sector in the village because of loss of fertile soil uphill (Plate 1). Currently the government of Tanzania is emphasizing tree planning in the country as a mitigation strategy to climate change impacts as well as restoring the degraded forests.

However, in the village, there are no tree nurseries that communities, NGOs, churches and mosques can buy and fulfil the tree planting strategy, as directed by the government.

Plate 1: Evidence of Forest Degradation in Lunguza Hamlet in the Village that need Restoration to Restore the Lost Glory

This project intends to identify ten female-headed households in the village and establish two groups of five females each who are willing to establish tree nurseries.

First, the groups will be trained in entrepreneurship and development, so as to change their mind to be entrepreneurs and feel that the tree nurseries project is a potential economic activity that could improve significantly their economic status.

This project will be sustainable because it will result in direct economic gain to the group members who have limited options to other economic activities. Moreover, the nature of the project will allow them to engage in cultivating food crops for their families.

The project will have both social and economic impact because families will be able to pay for social services (e.g. health, schools, buying food from the income they are getting) but also improving their shelter. Economically, they will gain direct income from selling tree seedlings.

Project motivation

Most female households in my village are very poor to the extent that getting even a single meal in a day it is a problem. This is mainly influenced by limited option to other livelihood options that requires capital for investment.

This project could reduce the poverty level and hence improved wellbeing of female headed households. The project will have a direct gain to the community because they will sell tree seedlings but also they will conserve the environment.

To me this project is important because I will be part and parcel of solving rural community problems, which are accelerating poverty in the country.

Project implementation

First, the project will start by identifying ten female-headed households and formation of two groups in the village. This will be followed by training on entrepreneurship and development skills.

Furthermore, establishing a farm field school on how to establish tree nurseries (this step will be done by an extension officer).

Lastly, each group will be provided with tree seedlings, gumboots, soil packaging bags, pesticides, and some equipment for irrigation.

Already I have a farm that can be used by these groups to implement the project.

The project measureable factors will be to see if the groups were formulated, tree nurseries were established, selling of tree seedlings to the community and sustainability of the project.

The project success will be measured based on selling of the tree seedlings, tree planting in the village and nearby villages, and the existence of tree nurseries.

The project is expected to cost a total amount of USD 5,000 as per breakdown below:-

  1. Identification and formation of groups:     USD 500/= 7 days
  2. Training on entrepreneurship and development skills USD 500/= 4 days
  3. Establish farm field school                         USD 500/= 30 days
  4. Purchasing of tree seedlings and implementation gears USD 2500/= 5 days
  5. Project Monitoring USD 1000/= 1 year


Blogpost and picture submitted by Ernest Lucas Hizza (Tanzania): ernestlucasi[at]

The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #296 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

34 thoughts on “YAP proposal #296: Rural Female-Headed Household Empowerment via Tree Nurseries (Ernest Lucas Hizza, Tanzania)”

  1. I like the project because apart from contributing to climate change mitigation, it has co benefits to the community. Its is feasible and relevant for implementation

  2. Good idea. this is one of the best ways of empowering women who do not own land, contibute alot to agriculture production, but end up earning zero income.


  3. This project is real nice and attainable as well, and it will help to reduce poverty to the community to the large extent, congratulation sir.

  4. Entrepreneur big minds like Mr. Ernest Lukas should be encouraged and supported in developing countries like Tanzania. Great minds and academicians like Hizza, who managed to penetrated in rural areas, discussed with poor people, empathized with them, drafted a proposal and came up with a land for implementation of both tree nurseries and piggery project illuminates all Tanzanians entrepreneurs and climate change mitigations in order to solve the existing problems.
    I urge the Government of Tanzania, donor countries, NGO’s, private sectors and well wishers to donate various contributions and their time for the implementation of the project and eliminate poverty in the developing countries like Tanzania.

    Thank you and big up Mr. Ernest Lukas Hizza.

  5. It is a good idea, but is there a individual demand among the villagers? Because if there is no demand per family it will be difficult for those who can not afford one meal per day, to spend much on tree. Perhaps could you think on edible fruits which of course can be sold to bakhesa/ azam industry. This means people can know may be after 3-4 years she can have market to her near by area.

    1. Sure edible fruits sounds to be integrated so as to ensure sustainability of income flow

  6. Its a recomendable project, that is timely, however the project monitoring and monitoring tools is missing though its shown on the budget. Also the sustainability of the planted seedling is missing. We should not concentrate only on planting than mechanism to sustain the planted seedling

  7. It is a very good proposal Ernest,I like your approach that involve direct the most vulnerable people at the grass root. However you have to re_look on the chain between the producer of tree nurseries you propose to empower and tree growers. Demand should be stable that producers can be encouraged.There should be encouraging mechanisms to growers of trees that creat sustainable demand .More over Production costs should be highlighted focusing also the challenge of water in our villages.

  8. Well said Lucas, the idea is fantastic. What i would like to highlight is more information should be acquired on expected size of project area and its sustainability. Tree nursery alone is not sufficient to sustain the climate change mitigation strategy more linkages should be identified to ensure project prosperity in the future too.

    1. Kalimenze thanks for the comment. The project focus is to improve income of female headed households but also contributing to environmental conservation so as to restore the lost glory in the study area

  9. Cheers Mr Ernest for your good idea because this is one among the strategies of empowering women especially those vulnerable ones

  10. Given the situation today on environmental degradation and the increasing problems of climate change the project is viable and relevant i support the project keep it up project designer

  11. Tree nursery? YES. That is the best idea one can come up with. I highly recommend this project because in many parts of the country tree cutting is all over and is done on a daily basis due to various reasons. Planting more trees is one of the best ways to regain the lost soil cover. Once seedlings are there, more people will think of tree planting, I remember in my own village people are now scrambling for land because people have seen the benefits of having trees as an investment, not just as a soil cover. I purpose that you don’t just think of tree nurseries but expand the project into promoting household forestry project either as stand alone forestry projects or in form of agro-forestry projects. The photo you have posted clearly shows us that this is a sloppy land that need more trees especially at hill tops to project water sources and reduce soil erosion. So keep on going Mr Ernest until the project is actualized.

  12. Congratulation for the good idea,this project touch vulnerable group of climate change but also intend to improve life of female headed households and environmental management

  13. The project is viable because there is a shortage of tree nurseries in rural areas. The focus of women is important given the initiatives of empowering them by different stakeholders

  14. The forests around Kilimanjaro are diminishing ts my pleasure that the project will be a catalyst to restart the efforts for re afforestation

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