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Wami River, Tanzania

  • Definition
    Devising project idea, defining the aim and main components
  • Design
    Specifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
  • Open to Financing
    Searching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
  • Implementation
    Execution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
  • Maintenance
    Operational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
  • Scaling Up
    Scaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.

The Wami River Ranch is a 2000 ha property that has experienced severe degradation from overgrazing in the past. The JT Ranching Company (JTRC) is now working on reversing this damage through regenerative farming practices. To reduce costs and improve yields sustainably while supporting local farmers, JTRC is already working with cattle, moringa, and poultry. Together with reNature, the next step will be to design, implement, promote, and upscale an agroforestry vanilla system to drive economically viable reforestation of the area, whilst providing commercial opportunities for smallholder farmers.

Number of direct beneficiaries

900 farmers

Development Challenge

The Mandera region has experienced severe overgrazing due to nomadic herdsmen and unsustainable farming methods including deforestation for charcoal production and slash-and-burn sesame cultivation. The result is degraded land that now needs to be regenerated. In general, the area is facing land degradation, overgrazing, erosion, deforestation, and desertification that originate from the acute poverty of farmers. These factors, in turn, perpetuate poverty, creating a downward spiral and ever-decreasing returns. Thus, a solution is needed to reverse the environmental damage, while improving farmer livelihoods.


This project will create and implement a vanilla agroforestry Model Farm exhibiting a replicable system applicable to the local context and suitable for upscaling. A Model School will be initiated to provide capacity-building for contract farmers enhancing adoption, impact, and scale. The farm will be an anchor in the area for technical know-how, inspiration as well as material and farm input provision (e.g. seedlings) for contract farmers to replicate the model.


The main goals of this project are to 1) grow a regenerative, productive vanilla forest to reforest and regenerate the Wami River Ranch and 2) provide economic opportunities for local smallholder farmers alleviating poverty.




moringa trees already planted


female beneficiaries

Inspirational Impact

The Model Farm will showcase the benefits of agroforestry, whilst encouraging smallholder farmers to adopt the system. Through the Model School and JTRC’s outgrowing scheme, farmers can connect to the project, obtain relevant resources and knowledge, and have a direct local off-taker. JTRC has already earned the trust of the villagers and expects to reach an out-grower base of 900 local farmers.

Environmental Impact

A commercially viable agroforestry outgrowing model will encourage reforestation in the area. Agroforestry will facilitate the regeneration of the ranch and beyond and help to restore local water and rainfall cycles. Further, it will regulate the microclimate and support biodiversity, whilst increasing carbon uptake in the area.

Economic Impact

This project will generate sustainable income and employment opportunities through its outgrowing scheme. Farmers will benefit from joining as their products will be aggregated and sold on larger markets for higher prices. Through JTRC, outgrowers also connect directly to NEI’s existing vanilla processing facilities. Agroforestry will further help farmers in increasing economic resilience and farm productivity.

Social Impact

Through agroforestry, smallholders will be able to produce more nutritious, higher quality food, and with access to cash markets, they will be able to afford to include a wider variety of food in their diets. Farmers will mainly invest additional income obtained through this project into education which is of great importance for them. The vanilla agroforestry project will especially benefit women who are mainly responsible for executing the vanilla pollination.


Would you like to support the reforestation of the Wami River Ranch?

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