The Role of Co-Operatives in Carbon Trading in Community Managed Carbon Enhancement Activities in Tanzania (Published)
Co-operatives’ activities linked to land use, land-use change and forestry generate tradable carbon offsets from community carbon enhancement activities. To this light the major concern of the study on which this paper is based was to examine how the co-operative business model may apply to carbon trading with special emphasis on community carbon enhancement activities. The bulk of the data was generated from semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The results indicated that co-operatives are important for integrating production and marketing of agricultural produce. Services provided by co-operatives range from collection and selling of agricultural produce, extension services, supply of better agricultural inputs to warehousing, grading, and market information. Farmers, through co-operatives’ activities generate tradable carbon credits that become a commodity for farmers. The analysis reveals the co-operatives business model offers a framework for smallholder famers to come together as a strong entity to gain collective bargaining power in order to achieve benefits in terms of creating avenues for marketing carbon credits generated through activities with co-operative actions. The study recommends that co-operatives need additional support to effectively engage in carbon trading in terms of technical experts in carbon trade and calls for awareness creation for smallholder farmers to recognize new opportunities for a second commodity (carbon credits).