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Kilosa charcoal may soon be on supermarket shelves

14th December 2012
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Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Charcoal is now on the way to being sold in supermarkets, after a new project of sustainable charcoal production in Kilosa District, Morogoro Region came up with appropriate satchets, produced sustainably from identified sources.

Speaking in Kilosa yesterday, Kilosa District Council’s Principal Assistant Officer Othman Haule said the project to produce charcoal sustainably, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) will train charcoal makers in the district on how to mark and pack their products in appropriate weights in the bags so that they can be easily sold in supermarkets.

“The project plans to mark charcoal bags with a specifically designed logo to show that the product was prepared in accordance with the required environmental standards. The system will control the packaging of the commodity so that it can be easily sold in various supermarkets countrywide,” he said.

Haule said the move will assist charcoal makers in the district to get higher prices than the 10,000/- currently offered by charcoal makers on the main roads and the 50,000/- offered by dealers in urban centres.

 “The charcoal production makers in Kilosa will also be trained in the use of new technologies to produce charcoal sustainably, increasing their production, with the use of fewer trees.
TaTEDO will provide the training which will help the charcoal makers to add values to their activity,” he added.

For his part, Sustainable Charcoal Project’s Advocacy Officer Sisty Basil who is also working with Tanzania Community Forest Conservation Network (MJUMITA) in Kilosa District said the sustainable charcoal project is a partnership which aims to establish a commercially viable value chain for legal, sustainably produced charcoal.

“The overall goal is to improve climate change adaptation and mitigation; to enhance environmental sustainability and to leverage returns on biomass resources,” he said, adding: “The project will work with communities and local government to establish sustainable and energy efficient charcoal production from woodland in village forest reserves, this will include

training for village leaders and natural resources committees.”
Basil disclosed that the project will also link sustainable charcoal production with ongoing REDD (Reducing greenhouse gas Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries) initiatives.

He said the project commenced in June this year, where Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) and Tanzania Community Forest Conservation Network (MJUMITA) has been supporting a community-oriented REDD project.

He added that the project has focused on woodland adjacent to the high biodiversity forests of the Rubeho and Ukaguru Mountains, a part of the Eastern Arc Mountains biodiversity hotspot.“The proposed project lifetime is six years, comprising a two year inception and design phase and a four year period of expanded implementation”.

Speaking on challenges, he said currently at the national level there is no dedicated policy which deals with charcoal sector in the country, making  it easy for people to harvest charcoal in an unsustainable manners hence leading to increasing deforestation in the country.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN