Butterfly farming generates income for rural community and protects the forest

    | June 24, 2013

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    In this week’s story from Cameroon, farmers domesticate a popular forest food called okok, thereby reducing pressure on forest populations of the plant. This week’s script deals with a very different type of non-timber forest product: butterflies.

    Our script of the week features a Tanzanian NGO which is working 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. When the eggs develop into larvae, they are shipped overseas and, as mature butterflies, are presented in exhibitions. To profit from the enterprise, villagers must manage their environment to sustain the butterfly habitat.

    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.