NCEAS Project 12692

SNAP: Finding smart planning solutions in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania: What does sustainable intensification look like?

  • Evan H. Girvetz
  • David Cleary

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No activities scheduled at this time.

Current proposals to create development corridors in developing countries pose both risks and opportunities to smallholder farming and agricultural sustainability. These proposals have political support but have suffered from a lack of science and scenario analysis. The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania SAGCOT corridors is one such place that could significantly alter the economics of all scales of farming and conservation in a large part of Tanzania, changing patterns of market access and land-use. There are risks: large-scale monoculture could replace more diverse production systems, displacing smallholders. But there is also an opportunity to bring science to bear, showing how improved market access can enable the sustainable intensification of agriculture at scale through more sophisticated planning for the long-term maintenance of environmental services, along with including smallholders in value chains. This group will use a range of economic and modeling tools to establish costs and benefits in this corridor, and analyze how they shift when impacts to ecosystem services are considered in a range of demand scenarios. This will help identify “critical geographies” within the corridors, where economic potential exists but where problems with natural resources can be expected if intensification proceeds without a focus on environmental services. Landscape-level planning techniques will be used to suggest different agricultural development configurations capable of informing decision-making. The aim is to show what sustainable intensification could look like if planned at this formative stage in the evolution of these corridors.