Amani Butterfly Project

Butterfly Farming for conservation in Tanzania

The East Usambara Mountains are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, which are recognized worldwide as a global biodiversity hotspot and an endemic bird area. However, of late the East Usambara have been subjected to unsustainable pressure by adjacent communities. The underlying cause of this unsustainable pressure is that communities around these biodiversity rich forests are growing and are mainly dependent on a land based-economy. The proposed Amani Butterfly project will provide a direct economic incentive for communities to preserve local buffer forests and to resist illegal resource extraction from forest reserves. Since land requirements for butterfly farming are very small, any person from the forest adjacent communities can participate including women and youth. This project aims at promoting forest conservation and poverty reduction through butterfly farming in and around Amani Nature Reserve, Muheza, Tanga.

A non-profit organization that helps 400 rural Tanzanians from 6 villages in the East Usambara Mountains farm and market native butterflies. The mission of the project is to reduce poverty and create incentive for forest conservation.

Project Facts:

  • More than 50% of the farmers are women
  • Butterfly farmers receive about 70% of all project sales while the other 30% goes to cover project staff salaries and operating costs
  • 10% of butterfly farmer earnings go to a village development fund

2006 Review Paper