“Pass-on” Programs Promote Livelihoods of Women and Farmers within Kulera REDD+ Program

Terra Global Capital
February, 2023

As the Kulera Program enters its 14th year as a Verified Carbon Standard and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Triple-Gold verified project, the funding from carbon sales continues to support the program activities designed to improve livelihoods of the communities around protected areas.

This past year, the NVA and NAWIRA have been implementing a seed and goat “Pass-on” program that will encourage long term stability for surrounding community. The program began with 25 kilograms of groundnut seeds being given to program beneficiaries, with an expected crop yield of 125 kilograms of groundnuts. From this input, the program beneficiaries then pass on 30 kilograms to a fellow community member and sell or consume the remaining yield.

For the 2022-2023 farming season, the NVA and NAWIRA distributed tens of thousands of groundnut (such as peanut), soybean, and dry bean seeds to thousands of farmers in nearby districts. This circular economy is made to create direct benefits women and brings high nutrient crops to their families. With groundnuts having a higher yields per calorie than other crops like cassava or maize, farmers have the goal of growing more food on less land - reducing the need for forest clearing.

To further diversify the food and income security and support the self-sufficiency of women within the community, NVA and NAWIRA also supported a livestock program that distributes goats and chickens to women. Each beneficiary, during the start of the project, was given two female goats, one male goat, and two chickens. The program coordinates for the goats’ offspring to be passed onto another woman when they are born. Along with the benefits of meat and eggs from the chickens, the goats also provide a sustainable protein source and natural manure for crops.

So far, this year the program has provided 50 goats and 200 chickens, to the initial 70 women beneficiaries within the community. As hunting was a common practice in Malawi, goats subsidize the need to hunt as the taste thought to be quite similar. During the last monitoring period, more wildlife was counted within the protected areas, showing success of the Kulera Program.

Terra Global aims to support the biodiversity of project areas as well as the livelihoods of local communities. Monitoring over the years reveals that the Kulera REDD+ Program has been successful in reducing deforestation and protecting wildlife. Along with direct project benefits such as reduction in deforestation and increase in biodiversity, “Pass-on” projects within the Kulera Program provide long-term benefits for vulnerable individuals, specifically women, and, in turn, for the entire community. After 14 years, Terra continues to collaborate closely with organizations like the NVA, NAWIRA, and Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) with the support of Terra Global’s local Kulera project coordinators, Alphius Lipiya and Frank Chimpango.

From our international team members’ most recent field visit, Carlos Molina, Topoyame Mabophiwa, and Gregory Ives met with local project coordinators to learn more about the status of the NVA and NAWIRA’s “Pass-on” programs as well as kick off the new Kulera Special Projects Fund. Moving forward, Terra Global will continue to report and highlight the many activities and happenings within the Kulera Program, all of which aim to promote the livelihoods and biodiversity in Malawi.