Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact
-In the year 2005 in collaboration with WODSTA (Women Development for Science and Technology Association), a not-for-profit organization, we trained and supplied seeds of jatropha to more than 400 women in ten womens groups around the Mount Meru region.
-The groups are now thriving, selling jatropha products inlcuding soap and candles. Also most of the women started to use biofuel energy efficiency stoves and this has greatly reduced the rate of deforestation on mount meru region.
-Jatropha has a symbiotic relationship with vanilla orchids and the stories are nothing but very succesfull women farmer groups after they discovered that vanilla can actually thrive well in jatrophas and now they are having the best of both as vanilla is an expensive crop and they already have established jatropha plants,therefore most of the farmers now grow both vanilla and jatropha were climate permits.
-The selling of jatropha seeds has higly increased the income of women in the area around mount Meru and now they no longer have to be manual labors in order to pay for their children school fees. Children does have to miss classes to work in order to pay for the fees.
Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing
-The idea is twofold. It addresses the issue of employment to women, and environmental degradation, by using simple technology to help decrease the instances of deforestation. Women unfortunetly play a big role in environmental damage, as they are the primary gatherers of firewood for domestic usage.
-It can raise the income/social status of poor and marginalized women in the rural communities by letting them operate small cottage style industries while doing their jobs as fit by the cultural norms of the area.
-It can combat the issue of unemployment by providing employment oportunities to women and young men who will participate in the whole process of growing and extracting oils.
Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. What might prevent that success?
-One of the steps to make this a success is to conduct more trainings and seminars about the positive impact the whole industry will bring to them.
-By using the pilot project groups, we take new potential working groups on a tour of successful groups that preceded them, in order to set a positive example and instill confidence in the new candidates.
-We will keep lobbying and trying to send our proposed write up for the project to different organisations and interested parties for funding.
-In order to succeed we have biotechnology that assures farmers that jatropha can actually be intercropped. Reaserchers has already proved that jatropha has an allelopathic relation with most crops and depending on the topography, soil profile and prevailing agroclimatic conditions in an area, Jatotropha can be intercroped with almost all the indigenous crops of any given area.
-The biggest deterent to success of this plan is the lack of innovative farmers. Most farmers are used to the tradional feed crop farming and to change that may be daunting for many of them.
-Land belongs to the male part of the family and would be considered a cultural deviation to have women allocated the piece of land for their innovative programs.
-Marketing for the products is another challenge. Most people have not yet heard of jatropha oil are used to their traditional fossil fuels: charcoal or firewood. Farmers who have aquired the Jatropha tree may still find a difficult time selling it.
-government policy towards the used of biodiesel is not yet well defined and oil lobbyists are creating tension between the government and the biodeiesle interest party.
-Inadequate funding is another big limitation to the implementation of this plan. Initial funding for any project of this magnitude can be quite steep.
Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible
-The pilot phase of the project has proven succesful for the past three years; the remaining phases includes the launch and spread of the project in the vast arid lands of central Tanzania. Therefore year one is to identify potential areas,train farmers and distribute planting materials to over 1,000 farmers of the Mkalama valley.
-Year two will deal mainly in follow up and further training of the established farmers with emphasis in the usage of the crop. Training will cover use of pressing machines,soap and candle making technologies and biodiesel stoves.
-Year three of the project establishes marketing systems to make sure the surplus products will be marketed to the surrounding towns/cities and (hopefully) subsequently foreign markets for organic soap and candles.
-Every step of the way there will be quarterly assesment and evaluation as we proceed and then we will have an outside auditors for final evaluation after every phase of the project is done and completed.
If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?
-The innovation will help reduce the gorvernment intervetion on importing unnecesary agricultural products, creating a locally sustainable economy.
-This innovation will impact policy markers to change the tax policy for small scale farmers and help the gorvernment in the whole carbon credit isssue.
-There has already being a talk in the parliament about the use of bio fuels and how to subsidize the farmers and reduce the gorvenment burden of crude oil dependance.