Livelihood strategy choices among spice farmers in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania

Jacqueline G. Kajembe*, Göran Bostedt, Yonika M. Ngaga and Jumanne M. Abdallah

In Tanzania, spice farming is primarily concentrated within the Eastern Arc Mountains, a designated conservation area presenting a unique interplay of economic sustenance, environmental conservation, and geographical challenges. This study aimed to identify and understand the livelihood strategies employed by spice farmers, as well as to examine the various determinants influencing their decision making process in adopting these strategies. Data were collected from 542 randomly selected spice households in the Uluguru and East Usambara mountains. Cluster analysis was utilized to categorize households into distinct livelihood strategies, while multinomial logistic regression was employed to assess the determinants of these strategies. The findings unveiled five types of livelihood strategies among spice farmers in the study area. Determinants included total land ownership, age, education, sex, marital status of the household head, number of working-age members, location district, altitude, distance to the district capital, extension and research/NGO interaction, and durable asset ownership.
Given the heterogeneity among spice farmers, interventions should be tailored to accommodate the diversity of their livelihood strategies. Policymakers should prioritize market stability, crop productivity, and income diversification through entrepreneurship to enhance household income and resilience. Promoting improved seeds and modern farming techniques can render spice farming more financially appealing to young farmers.

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