| Application of biomass-energy technologies |
|I. Woodfuel production technologies|
The United Republic of Tanzania is located in East Africa and, based on a 1988 census, its population was estimated to be around 25.3 million in 1992 with an annual growth rate of 2.8 per cent.
Woodfuel is the principal source of energy, quantitatively accounting for 91 per cent of the total energy consumed. The dependency on woodfuel is expected to continue for the foreseeable future but the supply of woodfuel potential is dwindling in all regions.
Since the welfare of the people of Tanzania depends, to a large extent, on the sustainable management of its land resources, the Government has accorded high priority to the production of woodfuel and to environmental protection (MWEMT, 1991).
The main woodfuel-production technologies used include establishment of communal woodlots, combination of land reclamation with woodfuel production, central and individual nurseries, use of cuttings and self-germinating seedlings, individual tree-planting based on agroforestry, intensification of women involvement in the programmes, adoption of a multisectorial approach and monitoring of past efforts in order to learn from models of best practices.
1. Establishment of communal village woodlots
Considerations of woodfuel as a major source of energy and the need to sustain its production started in 1967, when the Government adopted a policy with a major emphasis on rural development. In 1968, regional tree-planting efforts were started in all regions with seedlings being raised in government nurseries and issued free to villages for establishing communal woodlots for woodfuel production. Exotic species were planted, based on the availability of seeds and ease of raising seedlings.
Village governments set aside land for establishing communal woodlot and provided free labour for land preparation and planting the trees. However, after planting, most village governments did not tend or protect the woodlots from grazing animals which led to mass failures (Mnzava, 1983).
Research on arid zone afforestation to find suitable tree species for woodfuel was initiated in 1970 with SIDA financial and technical assistance. Trial plots, which consist mainly of exotic species, are now the main sources of seeds to farmers.
2. Combination of land reclamation with woodfuel production
In 1973, the first large-scale National Soil Conservation Project (Hifadhi Ardhi Dodoma HADO) was started, with the objectives of reclaiming eroded land and producing woodfuel. It was jointly funded by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and SIDA.
The main activities of the project in the initial phase were soil conservation, establishment of woodlots and encouragement of people to plant trees on farmland for environmental conservation and for woodfuel.
Achievements attained in the initial 10 years of project implementation were:
Establishment of woodlots. A total of 2624 ha of woodlots were established as demonstration areas to villagers on growing trees and on Land conservation.
Individual tree-planting. A total of 3.4 million seedlings were distributed to individual farmers for planting on their farms.
Conservation of natural woodlands. After 10 years, the project area of 114,000 ha was satisfactorily covered with shrubs, small trees and grass. Due to this success it was decided to allow villagers to collect fodder and dead wood from the area for fuelwood.
The success of HADO encouraged other regions to initiate similar land-reclamation programmes. In addition, a second phase of HADO, based on a multi-sectorial management team, has been initiated with the main objective of integrating forestry, agriculture, livestock and environmental protection as a sound Land-use system for the project area.
3. Monitoring of tree-growing efforts and learning from models of best practices
In 1981 a small community forestry unit was established by the Forestry Division to monitor and disseminate models of best tree-growing practices in the United Republic of Tanzania and in other African countries. The main impacts of the unit to woodfuel production include:
• On-going systematic monitoring and follow-up of tree-growing efforts in the regions which were initiated in 1981. Data on seedlings distribution, field survival rates and technologies used for growing trees are collected, analysed and lessons learned communicated back to tree-growers to facilitate sharing of field experiences.
• A national mass awareness campaign on tree-growing and environmental protection is being conducted in order to cover grass root problems adequately.
• Sociological studies on farmers' needs for tree-growing and analysis of traditional methods for growing trees were conducted in 1982/83 with FAO assistance (FAO, 1984; Mnzava, 1983; Mascarenhas et al, 1983).
• The first Tanzania Five Year National Village Afforestation Plan 1982/83 to 1986/87 was compiled in 1983 (Kaale, 1983) which emphasised the need to give high priority to individual and school tree-growing. It also emphasized the need to intensify management of natural forests and adoption of a multi-sectorial approach in implementing woodfuel production programmes.
4. The Shinyanga region soil conservation project (HASHI)
The project was stated in 1986 with the Government and NGOs providing catalytic support in terms of finance and technical assistance. The bulk of the project activities are undertaken by village governments and individuals on a self-reliance basis. Between 1987 and 1989 the HASHI project distributed 2.1 million seedlings from forest nurseries to 113 villages for individual planting on farm lands (Mnzava, 1990).
5. Establishment of nurseries
Tree seedlings are raised in a few government nurseries, located close to water reservoirs and distributed to individual farmers and schools. Self-germinating trees and shrubs on farmland are protected by farmers and are assisted to grow through weeding and mulching. Through this system, millions of self-germinated trees are now available on farmlands.
Individual farmers are also planting trees for shade by using wildings obtained from pioneer species which were planted in some villages a few years ago through a World Bank-funded project. The existing trees also provide seeds for direct sowing on farm land.
Cuttings are widely planted as shade trees and as fence for animal kraals; however' et the end they are used for woodfuel.
6. Intensifying women's role in tree-planting
To intensify tree-planting by women, the project associates women in its village treeplanting. The project facilitates Women Organisation branches in their mobility for implementing development programmes like child health care, clean water and treeplanting. Through this catalytic support, women's organizations in Shinyanga have become effective extension agents and more importantly, they understand the role of trees in their society and how to promote treegrowing, by utilizing local knowledge.
7. Management of natural woodlands
The main actions taken include exclusion of livestock, restricted tree-cutting and eradication of wild fires to encourage natural regeneration. By the end of 1989, village governments had set aside 26,285 ha of natural forests for conservation. Customary laws and beliefs are used for protecting the forests (Mnzava, 1990).
Woodlots have been established on a few strategic areas by the Forest Department for demonstration purposes and for testing the performance of new tree species. Between 1987 and 1989 a total of 410 ha of woodlots were established. Government institutions, such as prisons and schools, have also established woodlots for meeting their own woodfuel demand.
9. Tree-planting by individual farmers
Provided with appropriate opportunities, individual tree-planting has proved to be an important contributor to woodfuel supply and environmental protection in the Babati district. Instead of concentrating trees in one area, as with plantations or woodlots, individual planting has facilitated to scatter trees over a large area, consequently enhancing supply of woodfuel close to consumers and improving the macro climate. Due to people's participation, costs of establishment and protection are very low as compared to woodlots or plantations. Women and children play a major part in tending and protecting trees, during farming and grazing.
10. Individual tree -planting in Bashnet village
Bashnet village is one of the few villages in the semi-arid zone of Tanzania which has managed to grow trees and meet its demand for woodfuel and poles from individually planted trees.
Successes were achieved with the initial planters, and the number of villagers growing black wattle increased slowly. By 1960, it had picked up involving the whole village community. Currently each household has a black wattle plot, sufficient to supply its needs of fuelwood and building materials.