Microcredits and rural livelihood for sustainable conservation of biodiversity: a case study of COCOBA in Mahale ecosystem, Kigoma-Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


This study was done in Mahale Ecosystem to assess the achievement of COCOBA in improving rural livelihood and sustainable conservation. This study was based on the fact that, while there are adequate information on micro credit and poverty reduction few exist on livelihood improvement and sustainable conservation of biodiversity. Specifically the study sought to document socio-economic activities undertaken by COCOBA group members and others in the study area; determine the performance of COCOBA on the supported socio-economic activities; determine the contribution of COCOBA to livelihood reductiona and to determine the participation of local community in environmental conservation in relation to COCOBA. Using household questionnaire, focus group discussion and key informant discussion from three villages and 120 randomly selected household, the study found that the main socio- economic activity undertaken in the study area was Agriculture which causes environmental degradation. Small scale business was found to be implemented most by COCOBA members due to credit accessibility. The study further showed that COCOBA has brought positive changes in the standards of living of its members. COCOBA members earned more income per year (1 546 057.56) than non members (828 045.35) as observed at T-test analysis. Furthermore, the study shows that COCOBA model contributes in environmental conservation because majority of its members were engaged in tree planting, beekeeping and uses of improved stoves. The study concluded that since the success of COCOBA model depend much on training, environmental training and post –credit training on entrepreneur, should be offered often to improve its performance. The study draws a number of recommendations including; Allocation of adequate financial resources for lending to micro credit institutions with low interest rate; Government and other development organization should put more effort on supporting micro credit institutions showing interest in environmental activities; undertaking an information campaign to create awareness among the poor on credit issues.



Microcredits, Rural livelihood, Sustainable conservation, Biodiversity, COCOBA, Mahale ecosystem, Kigoma, Tanzania


Fundi, E.N. (2011). Microcredits and rural livelihood for sustainable conservation of biodiversity: a case study of COCOBA in Mahale ecosystem, Kigoma-Tanzania. Morogoro: Sokoine University of Agriculture