BIOFUEL INDUSTRY IN TANZANIA
CSO MEETING AT WWF OFFICES – ON 28TH AUGUST, 2007.
Sumbi: Introduction – Why are we meeting? We want to learn more about this new
industry – Biofuel plantation in Tanzania so that we know where and how CSOs can
contribute to the process of making this booming industry environmentally and socially
Jambiya: Background Presentation – An overview of Biofuel industry world wide and
why is growing at that rate (available in power point slides).
Dr. Mwageni: Biofuel is a business and likely lucrative business.
We are inviting investors and yet there is no proper guidance. We are encouraging people
to grow Jatropha – have areas been identified? Are guidelines in place?
Openness means investments are prone to abuse… How can we help the government?
We are talking about conserving coastal forests and yet also wanting Jatropha
What about the displacement of people? How much are the people going to be paid?
In actual fact very large plantations are not paying very much as smaller ones – returns to
land and labour. Is this what we want?
We have to do something and what is it that we need to do? Who should take the lead?
Ministry of agriculture, is it NEMC, or???
Can we come up with guidelines that help towards mitigation of potentially adverse
Mr. Mariki: Biofuel is being piloted all over the world. There is an element of economy
In some areas its been tied to incomes – environmentally friendly incomes or subsistence
bio fuels for local consumption.
There are difficulties in stopping this? We do not have real lessons for us to use and say
this is not environmentally or economically viable. The evidence is missing.
The need is to see how we can guide the process. Institutionally perhaps NEMC could
take the lead in terms of advice
Conservation organizations can take the lead to advice and caution in terms of the
environmental consequences e.g. of mono-culture.
What should be the guidelines be for taking or developing biofuel plantations and
Mr. Mwakifwamba – CEEST: Think of advising government, but also think of
processing the fuel here.
What is the distribution and colonization process – could be invasive.
Mrs Bitegeko: Need to look into the energy and economics of the biofuels (as a subject)
and not only about the environmental concerns. Before we embark on advising the
government, we also need to take stock of what is available. Possibilities such as contract
farming, small out-growers etc. etc. Starting point would be a quick study to inform us
about the status quo of the bio-fuel industry as it stands now.
There is a government task-force being coordinated by Ministry of Energy can we try to
see what they are doing?
Nike Doggart: We know little of the science on Jatropha. The economics are powerful
and we cannot stop it. We have two time time-scales – short and longer term. More
immediately we need to be concerned about the villagers e.g. Kisarawe being bought off
their land. How can/should we respond to both timeframes?
…. JET: How can we help the government in this matter? We want conservation and yet
also want Jatropha? Is it contradictory?
Jambiya: We want to address it holistically and judiciously. We should not be
scaremongers. If there are potential benefits to local farmers then let them get it. Its also
about sharing the risks and benefits.
Mosha: Is it only grown on the coast? Why only Jatropha? Is it the company or the
community that will benefit most?
Sumbi: Most investors want to process the fuel outside e.g. in Europe. Why?
Mariki: Why Jatropha and not others – the other markets for simsim would make it so
expensive and have higher competition for other uses and higher prices?
Simon Milledge: Two kinds of levels of thinking – 1.policy strategic issues and
2.technical sides (instruments, guidelines and tools etc.). These tools need to be
developed very fast. Links to charcoal – have been around for over 15 years and because
it has been put into the context of an environmental issue rather than a social and
economic issues. And the same also comes here with Jatropha.
Do we have enough info on the economic benefits and social implications? Who within
the NGO, private sector, government take this process forwards – and really influence
policy. How can we best identify the necessary team?
This is a business opportunity – increase due to demand. Also because labour is very
cheap and land is easy to obtain. From a foreign private investment esp. from Europe.
Investors are looking at 20-30 years time horizon and what are we looking at?
There is a huge opportunity also here. Use the marginal land for plantation. Conserve the
sensitive and fragile lands – maintain the biodiversity.
One of the fundamental arguments is about the land-use options and about land
ownership as well. Marginal land or marginal intensity lands compared to say Jatropha -
what are the comparable returns to various types of cropping?
Sumbi: What are the next steps? Who should take the lead on this?
Simon Milledge: On the environmental side forward information to NEMC to TIC and
to other to maps and show the critical sites that should not be disturbed.
The real big issue is the social side.
The conversion of land to Jatropha – what are the off-sets? The related governance – who
will own the land and resources and how will the economic benefit sharing work?
Mariki: A good review the EIAs and their status is a must. Also the experiences from
those who have already produced Jatropha say in Arusha – what is the evidence? We may
also need to engage the media and raise the alarm, should the need arise.
Also develop more comprehensive information to influence policy.
Nike Doggart: We have not seen any EIAs and worse these are also some very bad EIAs.
Have these EIAs been approved by NEMC and if they have how? Losing 400,000 ha.
Has been identified in Wami Mbiki and even the PM is pushing for this. Why are these
investments being fast tracked?
Mariki: Solicit from NEMC if there are any EIAs. Get the information update.
Simon Milledge: The environmental issues are important and NEMC is likely to look
mainly into the environmental matters and less so on the even more important social and
Jambiya: Do some information gathering, TIC – list of companies who have been given
go ahead – and their business plans? Go to the companies themselves?, get the EIAs, also
engage the Biofuels Task Force – ask them to tell us where they are, what is their
thinking etc. etc. and we can assist in the gaps.. Contact Sun Biofuels, Wami- Mbiki etc
Mariki: the contact person in the Ministry is Mr. Kiwele
Link the way forward to the Charcoal initiative. If there is an existing task force on
energy link this to that. Perhaps link the team that is developing the charcoal initiative
and link to the biofuel task force.
Sumbi: Get info from Kilwa Districts, from TIC, from NEMC, from task force, from
Nnyiti: Are we tasking WWF to write and invite them to present to us. We can use the
Charcoal initiative as an entry to invite them to the meeting. WWF are mandated to
facilitate the process.
Nike: Try to contact private companies and investors.
WWF charged to write invite – Mariki to write to them.
Jambiya: Both the short and long term issues will be clearly identified and then gaps and
opportunities identified for follow up.
MAIN ISSUES DISCUSSED – Summarized by the Chair
There is high demand for biofuel in Europe and America – this is the reason
behind on-going and booming of Jatropha farming in India, Brazil and in Africa.
We can not avoid this business in Tanzania but need to study and advise/guide the
government on this.
Experience has shown that small and medium sized Jatropha plantations pay
much better than bigger plantation.
WB Report and other reports suggest that Jatropha farming industry would create
more jobs in developing countries, is a new business opportunity (there is money
Politicians are for this industry and do not bother much on how is going to affect
the environment and communities’ livelihoods.
Investment guidelines on biofuel farming in the country lack. How can we help
the government on this?
A need to elevate biofuel issue into a policy instruments (guidelines) – How best
we can go about supporting this biofuel industry with strategic sensitivity?
Jatropha farming is a growing business, yet its labour intensive and land here is
Need to consider social impact – displacement of people and lack of arable land to
majority local communities.
Although Jatropha farming is a huge opportunity in using marginal lands – there
is a need to consider alternative land uses such as Sustainable Forestry
Management. Which one is more economical and environmentally and socially
Short-term actions considered include: preparing facts that can be used to advise
the government on this business. This will require: Biofuel studies to collect
information on pros and cons of this industry, considering social issues/aspects
and economic issues, EIA/SEA guidelines towards this new investment
opportunity, what are the early lessons learnt from the small Jatropha plots in
Arusha, Arumeru, and elsewhere. What are the early warnings about this
A need to engage with a National Biofuel Task Force in the Ministry of Energy
and Minerals – to get an inventory of companies already involved in biofuel. We
need to get the relevant information so that we can confidently approach advice
either TIC or NEMC on this growing interest in biofuel industry.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
SN NAME ORGANIZATION AND FULL ADDRESS
1 Peter Sumbi - Chair WWF – TPO, Box 63117, DSM. Mob. 0784-415159,
2 Simon Milledge TRAFFIC, Box 106060, DSM. Mob. 0754279539,
3 John Chikomo JET, Box 15674, DSM. Mob. 0754-263965,
4 Nike Doggart- Recorder TFCG, Box 23410, DSM. Mob. 0754- 380609, email:
5 Janet Bitegeko Agricultural Council of Tanzania, DSM. Mob. 0754-
305985, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
6 Dr Hermann Mwageni WWF – TPO, Box 63117, DSM. Mob. 0713-326360,
7 Paul Nnyiti WCST, DSM. Email: email@example.com
8 Stephen Mariki WWF – TPO, Box 63117, DSM. Mob. 0713-325705,
9 Dr George Jambiya - WWF – TPO, Box 63117, DSM. Mob. 0754-771058,
Recorder Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
10 Simon Mosha TFCG, Box 23410, DSM. Mob. 0786-210005, email:
11 Stephen Mwalufwamba CEEST FAUNDATION, Box DSM. Mob. 0713-
416020, email: email@example.com or