Tanzania is endowed with unsurpassed natural resources and is a country of geographical extremes within Africa. It is home to Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet above sea level), and lowest point, found at at the bottom of Lake Tanganyika (1,263 feet below sea level), the largest and most abundant game parks, some of the most dramatic physical geography with Africa’s three largest lakes (Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa), the Rift Valley and a multitude of endemic areas with unique flora and fauna. More than 25 percent of the land makes up world famous national parks and game controlled areas.
One of Tanzania’s greatest resources is its people. Its population of 34.5 million people - 16.9 million male and 17.6 million female (2002 Census), has a uniquely peaceful history in Africa since its independence in 1961The national language is Kiswahili, but there are more than 120 local languages. Seventy-seven percent of the population lives in rural areas. Despite the increasing urbanization, about 90 percent of the population is involved in agriculture.
One of the poorest countries in the world, roughly 39 percent of Tanzanians still live below the food poverty line of less than a $1 a day. Poverty is more severe in rural areas compared with urban areas. Indeed, among the total poor population, the urban poor constitute about 13 percent compared to 87 percent in rural areas.
The Tanzanian economy depends largely on agriculture, contributing about 50 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 54 percent of the nation’s Foreign Exchange earnings. The sector employs about 90 percent of the country‘s labor force. Agricultural development is crucial to both national economic development and poverty reduction.
Heifer's Work in Tanzania
Heifer International Tanzania has been working with resource limited families in Tanzania since 1974. Heifer Tanzania collaborates with the government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries and Sub Project Holders to administer the livestock program for alleviating hunger and poverty to resource-limited communities through provision of livestock, training, veterinary services and technical expertise.
Over the last 34 years, Heifer Tanzania has been implementing various livestock projects including dairy cattle, dairy goats, camels, donkeys, pigs, fish farming and bee keeping. Through various agroecological initiatives, Heifer Tanzania has been promoting caring for the Earth to ensure sustainability.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable agricultural production: Introducing improved livestock; Livestock breeding and management training; Promoting agroecology; Developing community natural resource management plans (NRM)
Post-harvest management and processing: Smallholder dairy production development
Market development: Helping farmers access markets
Technology: Dairy processing and cooling plants
Nutrition: Promote food security and sovereignty
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Recently I accompanied several employees of corporate supporter Elanco as they climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and raised money for Heifer International. The trek was challenging and magnificent. Here are a few things that other sources may not tell you about climbing the highest mountain in Africa.
After our descent from Kilimanjaro with the group of Elanco employees who are Heifer International supporters, I had the opportunity to visit the Kitomary family in Tanzania.
It was a long day, for the simple reason that you must minimize your time between 15k and 19k ft, and so the distance up and down must be compressed into one day, while moving only as fast as your cardio system can handle.