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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Small farmers dominate agriculture in developing countries, and many governments and institutions have invested heavily in improving the productivity and sustainability of smallholder farming. However, the growth in export markets, especially to China, poses both risks and opportunities to smallholder farmer livelihoods and conservation. Commercial farming is poised to move into large geographies where proposals exist for significant investment in infrastructure “corridors”. One such corridor is the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) linking eastern Zambia and the interior of Tanzania to the Indian Ocean (see map). The development of the SAGCOT corridor, and others like it, could significantly change the economics of farming at all scales and over a large area. This could result in a concentration of land tenure, habitat conversion, the expulsion of smallholders, and the displacement of a moderately diverse production system by large-scale monoculture. This SNAP Working Group will address smart planning for sustainable agriculture intensification in the SAGCOT corridor. The development of the SAGCOT corridor is at an early stage of implementation presenting the opportunity to demonstrate to policymakers, planners, and potential investors what sustainable intensification might look like on the ground – with better market access improving agricultural livelihoods while good planning and responsible investment maintains the ecosystem services provided by healthy soils, water, and natural habitat. The Working Group will: 1) map the critical geographies within the corridor where agriculture intensification is most viable; 2) prepare a cost-benefit analysis for development and ecosystem services; 3) identify investment alternatives and priorities in the context of climate change; and, 4) outline alternative scenarios for sustainable intensification within the critical geographies. This project is supported by the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) initiative, generously funded through founding grants by Shirley and Harry Hagey, Steve and Roberta Denning, Seth Neiman, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Principal Investigator(s)

Felix Kamau, David Cleary, Lucy Magembe

Project Dates

Start: January 1, 2015

End: June 30, 2016



Justin Adams
The Nature Conservancy
Tracy Baker
The Nature Conservancy
John Banga
Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania
Tim Bodin
Deborah Bossio
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Matthew Brown
The Nature Conservancy
Louise Buck
Cornell University
Anthony Chapoto
Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR)
Gloria Cheche
World Wildlife Fund
David Cleary
The Nature Conservancy
Paul Daniels
CARE International
Tim Davenport
Wildlife Conservation Society
Michael Doane
The Nature Conservancy
Evan H. Girvetz
The Nature Conservancy
Craig Groves
The Nature Conservancy
Abigail Hart
Cornell University
Bell'Aube Huinato
World Wildlife Fund
Maria Ijumba
Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania
Jane Carter Ingram
Wildlife Conservation Society
Reuben Kadigi
Sokoine University of Agriculture
Felix Kamau
The Nature Conservancy
Japeth Kashaigili
Sokoine University of Agriculture
Damaris Kilaka
The Nature Conservancy
Geoffrey Kirenga
Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania
Christopher Lambe
Mosaic Company
Emma Liwenga
University of Dar es Salaam, Institute of Resource Assessment
Sarah Lynch
World Wildlife Fund
Lucy Magembe
The Nature Conservancy
Joseph Maina Mbui
Wildlife Conservation Society Kenya
Mary Mgonja
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
Idris A. Msuya
Rufiji Basin Water Board
Patrick Mutuo
Conservation International
Willie Mwaruvunda
Amani Ngusaru
World Wildlife Fund
Ravic Nijbroek
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Michael Nkonu
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Audax Rukonge
Agricultural Non-state Actors Forum (ANSAF)
Janet Sanders
Silverlands Tanzania Ltd
Sara Scherr
Ecoagriculture Partners
Dan Segan
University of Queensland
Abdalla Shah
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
Onesmo Sigalla
2030 Water Resources Group
Rita Singh
Monsanto Company
Christine Tam
World Wildlife Fund
Erasmus Tarimo
Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute
Anne M. Trainor
The Nature Conservancy Africa


  1. Report or White Paper / 2016

    Encouraging green agricultural development in the SAGCOT region of Tanzania

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