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Script 87.2

Notes to broadcasters

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For many reasons, but mainly because of the expansion of human populations into wildlife habitats, the need for communities to find ways to live alongside wildlife populations without destroying them is increasing. In some locations, this need is also driven by conflicts with wildlife which result in destroyed crops and, in some cases, injuries and deaths to villagers.

Some NGOs work with rural communities to help them manage their environment, including wildlife, in ways that not only sustain wildlife populations, but provide a good income for communities. This script features a Tanzanian NGO which works with a community in north-eastern Tanzania on butterfly farming. The NGO pays villagers to catch and cage butterflies, whose eggs are then collected and raised in a protected environment. The eggs hatch into larvae. When the larvae enter the pupal stage, the villagers sell them to the NGO, which ships them overseas for exhibitions. This region of Tanzania is blessed with many beautiful and rare butterflies, creating a high demand.

The script consists of three separate formats. First, a radio host interviews a butterfly farmer and the manager of the project. The second is a vox pop, in which a number of villagers offer short comments on the benefits of butterfly farming. The third is a discussion between farmers in the community who support butterfly farming and those who oppose it.

This script is based on actual interviews and recordings of villagers’ voices. You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on a similar topic in your area. Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews and recordings.

Script

PRODUCER:
I travelled to Kisiwani village in Muheza district, in the Tanga region of northeastern Tanzania. It is a very beautiful village, built on the Usambara Mountains. There is something very special in this village: butterfly farming.

I am standing with the coordinator of the butterfly project, Mr. Amiri Said Sheghembe.

AMIRI:
I’m Amiri Said Shagembe, the Manager of the Amani Project, which started in 2003. The project was started by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, an organization that works to conserve the forest. In the first year of the project, we researched the market for selling butterflies both within and outside of Tanzania. Right now, the project is running in six villages and we have more than 250 farmers. Though both men and women are working as butterfly farmers, our main aim is to increase income for women who are living on this mountain. The goal of the project is to help the people who live in the forest to manage the forest and get a profit from that management.

PRODUCER:
I can see there’s a nylon covering over what looks like a small house. What do you call this?

AMIRI:
This is a butterfly cage, and it’s used in butterfly farming. Butterfly farmers collect butterflies from the forest and put them into these cages. The butterflies are safe from predators inside the cages, and they lay eggs on the leaves of the plants inside the cages. The eggs eventually turn into butterfly pupae, which is what we export to Europe and America for business. There’s an industry in Europe and America which holds butterfly exhibits. They collect butterflies from different parts of the world and a lot of tourists pay money to see these exhibitions.

PRODUCER:
How many butterflies are in the cage? I see these two are in the process of breeding and I see some eggs on the leaves. Is the purpose of this cage to prevent the butterflies from escaping?

AMIRI:
That is the main purpose. But also, you need to have something called a “host plant” both inside and outside the cage. The female butterfly lays eggs on the leaves of the host plants. The farmers collect those eggs every day in the evening, depending on the season. Then they put the eggs inside polythene bags which are hung in trees, and wait until the eggs become pupae. It can take five days for the eggs to hatch into small caterpillars. Those caterpillars start feeding on the host plants until they change into pupae. The farmers collect the pupae twice a week on Thursday and Sunday. The next day after collection, they are shipped to our customers.

PRODUCER:
Now we are in the village with 15 members of the group who are doing this kind of farming. We will talk with the Chairman of the group, Mr. Waziri Hatibu Manga. When did the group start, and how many farmers were you when you started?

WAZIRI:
We started in 2003, and we were 14 farmers.

PRODUCER:
What motivated you to start butterfly farming?

WAZIRI:
We were trained by an expert who taught us how to collect the butterflies, where to collect them, and in which season we could sell them. We tried it, and we did make some profit, but not very much. But we saw it as a potentially profitable business.

PRODUCER:
What are the challenges you faced when you started this butterfly farming project?

WAZIRI:
We were having problems with butterfly production because of predators.

PRODUCER:
What predators were attacking the butterflies?

WAZIRI:
Predators such as lizards, spiders and tsetse flies.

PRODUCER:
Have you had any benefits since you started this?

WAZIRI:
Yes. I paid school fees for my children and I bought iron sheets for my house, even though I haven’t started building. I also bought other things for my house. We thank the project, because when we compare the past and the present, we see we were having problems getting enough food. It was difficult because we didn’t have money to buy food, but now we’re okay with food.

PRODUCER:
As you said, you get money from this project. Even your face shows that you’re earning something from butterfly farming. How much do you sell per year?

WAZIRI:
It depends on the market. Sometimes I make one hundred thousand Tanzanian shillings per month(Editor’s note: about 75 US dollars or 60 Euros),and sometimes I make up to five hundred thousand per month(Editor’s note: about 380 US dollars or 280 Euros).It depends on the market.

Producer:
Do you think it’s easy to do this kind of farming?

PRODUCER:
Butterfly farming is very easy. I was selling timber, charcoal, and firewood before, and I didn’t have time to do any other work. It was a very tough business. But when I started farming butterflies, I stopped all that I was doing. I left everything, even farming.

PRODUCER:
How many are in your group in this village?

WAZIRI:
We are 20 farmers in our group.

PRODUCER:
How do you compare your success with those who are not practicing butterfly farming?

Waziri:
There’s a big difference between butterfly farmers and non butterfly farmers. Butterfly farming is an alternative source of income. You can work for a very short time in a day – just one hour per day – and it’s very light work collecting butterfly eggs and cleaning the cage. It doesn’t need many resources compared with other work.

PRODUCER:
What is your advice for the listener about butterfly farming?

Waziri:
I advise them to take care of the environment. The forest has many resources. For example, there are bees which can be used to generate income. Trees give medicines and timber, and can be an attraction for tourists. If listeners cannot farm butterflies, they can make some income with other things which come from the forest. So it’s important that we take care of the forest. There is a real need to conserve the forest and biodiversity in general, because all this beekeeping and butterfly farming depends on conserving the forest.

PRODUCER:
Thank you, Mr. Waziri.(To audience)The land is so fertile here, with very nice vegetables. In front of me is a nice pepper plant which is ripe and attractive; they also have bananas and avocadoes. I can imagine that these farmers are benefiting a lot because they preserved their land. I can see modern houses from where I stand. A few of the farmers are in the first stage of building their modern houses, while others are making bricks.

(Pause)I was able to talk to some of the farmers. I asked what benefits they have received from butterfly farming. Here are some of their responses.

BUTTERFLY FARMER 1 (female):
There are a lot of changes. I have already bought the iron sheets for a roof and I am in the process of building my own house.

BUTTERFLY FARMER 2 (f):
I have benefited a lot. My daughter is in school in Kilimanjaro Region. I bought a sewing machine and I’m paying for school fees.

BUTTERFLY FARMER 3 (f):
I have a lot to be thankful for. As you can see me I am fat just because of butterfly farming. I bought a bicycle and I am now making bricks to build my modern house.

BUTTERFLY FARMER 4 (f):
I recommend butterfly farming because it rescued us from poverty. I have already built a house and I am now finishing it. I really thank butterfly farming very much.

BUTTERFLY FARMER 5 (f):
I have already built and am now finishing my house. I’m paying school fees and living a good life.

BUTTERFLY FARMER 6 (male):
I have two children studying in an English medium school and another is in secondary school. I have a good life.

BUTTERFLY FARMER 7 (m):
Oh, we are living a good life in my family. I have bought a bicycle, I have bricks, I bought the grills for the windows of my house, iron sheets, and timber. I am able to pay school fees for my children.

BUTTERFLY FARMER 8 (m):
I was in carpentry but I left that job when I involved myself fully in butterfly farming. Now I have a bicycle, forty iron sheets, a good radio cassette player, and my son is studying engineering in town.

BUTTERFLY FARMER 9 (m):
We thank the project very much as we had been digging the land as farmers. Now we can see butterfly farming as an alternative source of income. We can use the money to pay other people to do farming.

BUTTERFLY FARMER 10 (m):
Before, I didn’t have money in the bank. I didn’t even have an account. But now I have opened a bank account.

PRODUCER:
I visited Kisiwani village and talked to butterfly farmers and opposing farmers. The topic was whether butterflies lead to a better life. The opposing farmers said that there were no advantages from butterfly farming. Here is their discussion.

OPPOSING FARMER:
There are no advantages to butterfly farming. These farmers are destroying our resources. They sell them abroad and take our wealth to other people. We have preserved our natural resource and they are taking it away. This is not right.

BUTTERFLY FARMER:
That is not true! Butterfly farming involves preservation of the forest. Those who say we destroy it are wrong. We practice butterfly farming and help protect the butterflies from predators so that they can multiply quickly, but we don’t sell all of them abroad. When we sell a few, we release some to the forest to preserve their populations in the forest

PRODUCER:
You heard that they release them to the forest and later they catch them again and keep in the cage. Opposing farmers, what do you say?

OPPOSING FARMER:
If you go to the forest now, you cannot find any butterflies. They have finished them all. They take them and keep them in the cage and later they transport them to Europe.

BUTTERFLY FARMER:
It is not true that we have finished the butterflies in the forest. What happens is that the butterflies themselves have times when, because of the weather, they cannot be found, for example during cold weather. They look for hot weather. So we are not finishing them.

OPPOSING FARMER:
I disagree completely with this idea of keeping butterflies. This is not good. We have seen visitors coming to our village just to see butterflies, but now they are not coming back because these people sell butterflies to them. They won’t come back to Tanzania, and we won’t get taxes or any income from tourists entering our country.

BUTTERFLY FARMER:
No, no, that is not the way it is. We catch the butterflies and put them in the cage and breed them. Then we sell a few and release others. We are helping them breed because we are protecting them from predators.

PRODUCER:
They say that tourists are coming to see butterflies in real life in the forest.

OPPOSING FARMER:
Very many tourists were coming in the past. But now there are only a few – 1 or 2 per year.

OPPOSING FARMER:
We don’t like these butterfly farmers because they are benefiting only themselves. We are also preserving the forest. I say that the government should forbid people to do this kind of business. I am really angry.

BUTTERFLY FARMER:
It’s not true that we are only benefiting ourselves. Seven percent of the income we get is used to bring water, maintain roads, and build schools and a hospital. And when we get money, we employ people to make bricks and carry stones. So we are benefiting all of us.

PRODUCER:
Those who are arguing that butterfly farming is not good – is it because you don’t want to work at butterfly farming, yet you want the benefits? It’s true that the road to this village is very good. Is it true that you don’t want to work at butterfly farming?

OPPOSING FARMER:
Let them give us some money. We will fetch water, carry stones and do other work for them. We are ready to work for you if you pay us money.

Opposing farmer:
They are finishing the butterflies. It is six years since the start of the project and they have started building houses.

PRODUCER:
They say you are finishing the butterflies but that there is no progress to benefit the village. Is that true?

BUTTERFLY FARMER:
When a child is born, it can’t walk right away; it takes some years. The same for us. We had a lot of needs we had to take care of before we started building houses. But those who are not involved in the project have nothing.

PRODUCER:
Do you have anything more to say?

OPPOSING FARMER:
We would like to ask them to include us in the project so that we can also benefit.

PRODUCER:
They are asking you to include them in the project

BUTTERFLY FARMER:
But we are all benefiting from the butterflies. For example, when we built a school, we all take our children there. It is a benefit to all villagers.

BUTTERFLY FARMER:
I would like to welcome all who would like to join the group. We started with 14 and now we are 20.

OPPOSING FARMER:
I didn’t know that this was something for all of us. I have now realized that we have received benefits from butterfly farming. Our road is good, our schools are maintained – these are good benefits. If this is the case, I like this project. It has been their secret. But now we will work together in conserving our forestry. We will help them and we will join them in butterfly farming.

PRODUCER:
So you are all convinced to be involved in butterfly farming?

Opposing farmers:
(all men and women together)Yes, we will join them; there is more benefit than even raising cows.

PRODUCER:
Why?

Opposing farmer:
Because cattle farming is difficult, looking for grass and other heavy work. But butterfly farming is very simple work.

AMIRI:
What I have seen is that those who have opposed butterfly farming didn’t understand what we were doing. The correct explanation is this: butterfly farming is not catching butterflies from the forest. We teach farmers to keep the butterflies in a cage and give them food. When they sell the butterflies, they keep some for breeding. Catching butterflies is very difficult. Also, they talked about tourists being few in our country, but it is ten times more expensive to raise butterflies in Europe than to raise it here. This is our sixth year and we have seen customers increasing. The butterflies die after a while so the customers have to buy new ones. In previous years, there was no butterfly tourism. But when we started farming, the tourists started coming.

PRODUCER:
(Pause and to audience)That was a debate from Kisiwani village, where farmers talked about butterfly farming.

Community music

PRODUCER:
Mr. Amiri, do you have something to say concerning what you are doing as an organization, and the benefit you have enjoyed since you started your project?

AMIRI:
Yeah!! In short I can say that when we sell butterflies, 65 percent of the profits go back to the butterfly farmers. Twenty eight percent goes to run the project and 7 percent goes to the community development fund. The profit is increasing. In the first year, the profit was about 20,000 US dollars and in 2008 it is about 70,000 US dollars for the six villages. In Fanusi village they earned two million Tanzanian shillings(Editor’s note: 1500 US dollars or 1150 Euros)in one month from butterfly farming. You can see that the project is a good source of income as well as helping to conserve the forest and the environment.

PRODUCER:
You say conserving the forest and the environment is a benefit. Can you explain?

AMIRI:
Butterfly farming depends on the forest. I tell people that if they want to continue butterfly farming successfully, they have to conserve the forest. Eighty percent of the plants for feeding the butterflies come from the forest.

PRODUCER:
We are about to go inside because the rain is coming and we might not finish our recording. There is profit in the forest. There are a lot of trees which are tall and the location is quiet and cool. It is comfortable to stay here and this mountain is well preserved because butterfly farming encourages the people around the Usambara Mountains to keep the environment well. Mr. Amiri, how else do you think people have benefitted because of butterfly farming?

AMIRI:
When we conserve the forest, we are conserving it for everyone. And as I said, we contribute seven percent of our profit to the village, which helps to build classrooms, to support the dispensary and other things like that. So you can see that it’s not only for butterfly farmers. The whole community has benefited from butterfly farming.

PRODUCER:
It seems that you don’t consider the non-butterfly farmers to be members of the community. Aren’t you discriminating against them by not allowing them to benefit from what the butterfly farmers have done?

AMIRI:
No, they are also part of the forest. If we discriminate against them, they might destroy the forest. So we give some money to them too.

PRODUCER:
Thank you, Mr. Amiri and members of Kisiwani village. Cherished listeners, this is all that time permits today. We hope our tour has been revealing. God gave the people of Kisiwani virgin forest, fresh rivers, and fertile land that made them great butterfly farmers. I will talk to you again at the same time next week. Until then, it is Lazarus saying farewell.

Acknowledgements

Contributed by: Lazarus Laiser, Radio Habari Maalum, Arusha, Tanzania, a Farm Radio International broadcasting partner.

Reviewed by: Ernie Cooper, Director, TRAFFIC and Wildlife Trade, National Representative of TRAFFIC, WWF Canada.

Information Sources

Amani Butterfly Farming Project
P.O. Box 57

Amani, Muheza, Tanga, Tanzania
Tel: +255 (0) 784 802899
Mobile: +255 784802899
Email: papilio@amanibutterflyproject.org
Website: http://www.amanibutterflyproject.org/