The role of women in poverty alleviation : a case study of Tarakea Women Sawmill in Rombo District, Tanzania

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Southern New Hampshire University
The core problem among the community household members particularly women in Rombo District towards development has been increasing income poverty. Rombo district is relatively poor with an average per capita income of Shs 96,000 per year when compared with National statistics of about 270,000 per capita (2002). There is a critical land shortage, which according to Rombo District council (2002), on average the area owned by household vary between 0.25 to 1 acres per household. Land is not fertile with very low production per unit area, poor land management husbandry and has been cultivated for many years. About 90 % of the rural population is engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry, which is mainly done by women. The main crops cultivated are maize, banana, beans, few fruit trees (mango, avocado and coffee), which is for cash.The area face a serious problem of poverty among women and this led to establishment of the Tarakea Women Sawmill (TAWOSA) with aim to improve their livelihood through an income generating activity. TAWOSA is a registered cooperative society that was established in 1987 with 150 founder women members from Tarakea Division in Rombo District. The project is located in Tarakea division, Rombo District, Kilimanjaro Region. The main activities of Tarakea Women Sawmill are sawmilling activities, which include, timber harvesting (logging), hauling (transportation), sawing and marketing of timber. (Author abstract)