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Upscaling Nature based Solution through spices growing

Cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and so many other spices have been part of humankind for centuries with earliest records in Egyptian, Chinese and Indian cultures. Humans have used spices for medicine in their cuisines and even mummification in ancient Egypt. These simple and important plants are now getting their mark in restoration and conservation and nature based solutions.

Working through its Africa Sustainable Investment and Infrastructure project and with the Morogoro Rural district administration WWF Tanzania has distributed 10,000 clove seedlings  to communities in the wards of Konde, Kinole, Tegetero, Tawa, and Mtombozi.

Speaking during the seedlings distribution, the Morogoro Region Administrative Secretary Dr. Mussa Ali Mussa, expressed his gratitude to WWF Tanzania for their efforts in natural resources conservation and restoration.

“I am so impressed by WWF’s invaluable collaboration in our shared mission to safeguard our environment, with a particular emphasis on preserving vital water sources. Together, we are dedicated to enhancing the well-being of communities by promoting sustainable agricultural practices, with a focus on cultivating environmentally friendly cash crops like cloves. I am also confident that our joint efforts, including the restoration program involving spice seedlings, hold immense promise for the people of Rural Morogoro. Through diligent maintenance and nurturing, this initiative has the potential to yield multifaceted benefits for us all.”

Herena Nikola is one of the beneficiaries, she owns a farm near a river and she received seedlings some months before. She is excited and hoping that things will change for the better. 

"This project is incredibly beneficial for us; it has given us hope for a better future. We are encouraged to continue conserving our water sources while hoping that soon we will be able to get revenue from our efforts through the selling of the cloves. I want to assure our sponsors WWF that we are committed to caring for these seedlings and ensuring their growth, as we can clearly see the benefits they will bring."

"The collaboration between the Basin and WWF has been fruitful for the future of sustainable conservation of water sources and the environment as a whole because the trees we are planting yield long-term results, benefiting communities economically while ensuring that water sources and the environment remain safe." Says Juma Baraka from Wami Ruvu Basin Water Board, Morogoro

Last year WWF distributed 20,000 clove seedlings to selected communities and they were planted in 340 ha along the riverbanks of two rivers crossing the four selected wards. And this year WWF has upscale the restoration due to a large, degraded area identified along the same rivers that needs to be restored. This initiative not only ensures sustainable practices and safeguards the precious ecosystem, but also boosts the spice business. 

Maximizing the synergies between ecosystem health and human wellbeing while providing appealing economic benefits and reducing risks associated with poor environmental management, has proven fundamental in biodiversity restoration.

© Japhary Kiwanga
Clove planting