Rights for small-scale farmers and pastoralists in Tanzania

Ardhi Yetu – Supporting the land rights of small-scale farmers and pastoralists in Tanzania

In Tanzania, land is being commercialized and this is an increasingly contentious issue. Large chunks of land are being acquired by national and foreign investors with limited compensation to the affected local residents. Currently, the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) and Kilimo Kwanza (Agriculture First), two large scale investment strategies, are being championed by the government together with other key players including the donor community in Tanzania and the private sector. There is a growing concern over whether these investment strategies will in fact benefit the population in Tanzania. The concern is that the course of action will result in loss of local land rights, alienating the poor from the expected benefits. Questions are raised on whether the needs and interests of small-scale farmers – who are the main producers in Tanzania agriculture – and especially women farmers have been taken into consideration in the investment strategies? And what about the pastoralist populations – how will they be affected?

To address these challenges, CARE has initiated Ardhi Yetu, a Land Rights Programme aimed at supporting the rights of small-scale farmers and pastoralists, particularly in areas affected by commercial agriculture. The Ardhi Yetu Programme aims to strengthen the capacity of national civil society in Tanzania at local and national levels to more effectively engage with key lands sector actors such as the government and the private sector – and to support and advocate for the rights of small-scale farmers and pastoralists.

Target group
Given the challenges relating to land ownership in rural Tanzania, the Ardhi Yetu Programme target the poor, mostly small-scale farmers, women and pastoralists, who are at risk of losing out in the face of large scale investments in agriculture in Tanzania.

The programme engages with a variety of stakeholders at multiple levels to ensure basic human rights – in particular the right to land and the right to food – are respected and integrated in agricultural investments:

Community: the programme supports awareness raising and mobilisation of smallholder farmers, pastoralist and civil society organisations as well as research-based evidence building and documentation to inform community engagement with government, private sector and media etc.

District: the programme promotes broader engagement and participation of smallholder farmers, pastoralist and civil society organisations in planning and policy dialogues through information sharing and social accountability monitoring.

National: the programme engages in policy dialogues based on evidence, raises awareness through media and collaborates with national human rights bodies and civil society on land rights, the right to food and gender equity in relation to land. The programme and its partners are committed to full participation in legal reviews and sector reforms.

Regional and International: the programme engages in cross border policy dialogues, evidence dissemination and experience sharing through reports and peer reviews such as Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP), African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Finally, the programme will be facilitating global linkages through advocacy and informed dialogue with public and private investors.

The Ardhi Yetu Programme is implemented in Tanzania and with linkages to the regional and international level with regard to addressing the issues of land acquisition.

Duration and budget
The programme is implemented from 2014-2017 with a budget of DKK 15.2 million financed by Danida.

The Ardhi Yetu Programme is implemented by CARE and three national civil society organisations: Journalists Environment Association of Tanzania (JET), The Land Rights Research and Resources Institute (LARRI) and Tanzania Natural Resources Forum (TNRF). The programme will also collaborate with other relevant partners from research, civil society, private sector and government.



Morten Fauerby Thomsen
Programme Coordinator
+45 35 200 100