Project site description

Location and Area:  Lindi District is located in Lindi Region along the coastal lowlands belt that runs parallel to the Indian Ocean and represents a range of agro-ecological environment. The District lies between Latitudes 90.31’ and 100.45’ South of the Equator and between Longitudes 380.4’ and 400.0’ East of Greenwich. It is bordered by Kilwa District to the North, Mtwara Region to the South, the Indian Ocean to the East and Ruangwa District to the West, with a total area of 7,538 km2 out of which 1,183 km2 is covered by water.

Topography and Climate: Lindi District enjoys an average temperature of about 27oC during the hot season and 24oC during the cool season. It has an average rainfall of 1,000mm per year and one rainy season which starts from November to May with a spell of drought at the end of January or early February. The District is divided into three ecological zones - Coastal lowlands (0-120m), Intermediate zone (120 to 300m) and the Plateau highland (300 to 750 m) above sea level.

Soils: The vary across the ecological zones: shallow well-drained sandy loams are found along the Coast while in-land the soils vary from deep dark red sandy clay loams to dark grey clay loams and are moderately fertile. On the other hand, the Plateau highland has well-drained dark red to reddish-brown clay loam soils that have moderate fertility.

Farming: About 80% of the population in Lindi District Council earns their living from agricultural production. Crop production is largely for subsistence with a little surplus. Although soil fertility is relatively low, farmers rarely use improved agricultural practices. Instead, shifting cultivation is common. Cashew nut is the traditional cash crop; other cash crops include sesame and sunflower. The main food crops grown include cassava, sorghum, maize, coconut, groundnuts, legumes and paddy.

Livestock keeping: Livestock keeping though not popular is also becoming an important activity. Livestock kept include cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry.  Traditional fishing is also practised among people living along the shores of the Indian Ocean.

Mechanization and Infrastructure: Agriculture is largely done using the hand hoe for soil tillage and farming is dependent on rainfall.   Poor transport and storage facilities affect access to markets by the farmers. Farmers largely depend on local markets for most crops except Cashew nuts, which is formalized through the warehouse receipt system.