Under TFS’s main theme “Transformation and linkages of social, economic and natural environments under globalization”, the research and on-site education were carried out and fostered in various areas of Tanzania.
In December 2005, aiming at feeding back the previous experiences and exchanging the cases, the COE and JSPS joint workshop entitled “Concepts and Perceptions on African Way of Rural Development based on Area Studies” was held in Dar es Salaam. Both Tanzanian and Japanese researchers and practitioners participated and argued key issues, some of which have been compiled in this supplementary issue.
In Tanzania, since mid-1980’s, economic liberalization has influenced socially, economically, and ecologically, and by looking at the process of the people reacting the impact and modifying the indigenousness, we shall reconsider African way of rural development. Kato’s article looks at the process of one area becoming a major rice production area by utilizing ecological environment without changing indigenous cropping system of paddy rice in the flood plain of Kilombero Valley, Morogoro Region. The following four articles focus on socio-ecological changes in the Matengo Highlands, of southern Tanzania, which is one of the major coffee production areas in Tanzania. Rural economy and livelihood in Mbinga used to have fully depended on coffee. However, due to the decline of economy under the influence of economic liberalization, coffee production was declined. People diversified economic activities so as to support coffee production. Mhando & Itani’s article examine the process of diversification as coping strategies with economic liberalization. Kurosaki looks an importance of daily income for livelihood through changes of cultivation systems after economic liberalization. Araki looks at farmers’ various trials such as environmental conservation and diversification of economic activities through group formation and collective action while having interaction with the development project. Nindi focuses on environmental issues between the people who utilize the environment and are affected, and emphasizes the importance of mutual understanding and co-existence.
First of all, we thank for the local communities. People’s sincere commitment and enthusiasm in rural development have been always source of our research and practice. Trial and errors and dialogue with them have made us think deeply African ways of rural development. The collaboration and support from SUA, local governments of Mbinga, Morogoro, Iringa and Mbozi, and the cooperation from JICA would be deeply appreciated. Last but not least, without support and funding from COE program, this work would never be accomplished.