Staff and Farmers
The Zanzibar Butterfly Centre currently has 7 members of staff, 6 of whom live in Pete village – Alfred, Pandu, Omar, Awilo, and the nightguards Aly and Mohamed – and the Project Manager, who lives in nearby Paje.
- Omar is the newest member...
- Alfred previously worked...
- Pandu joined ZBC...
- Awilo is responsible for keeping...
Thirty seven farmers are currently part of the project and all of them live in the village of Pete.
Here are the profiles of some of them:
Before joining ZBC Kombo was farming cassava which meant he did not have much money. His favourite butterfly is the Flying Handkerchief because the butterflies lay many eggs and the caterpillars grow very quickly, turning into pupae within two and a half weeks.
Rungu used to make his money from charcoal production. He is now one of ZBC’s most successful farmers earning 5 times more money as a butterfly farmer than he did before. Rungu is using his money to build a house for his new family.
Previously working as a fisherman Ngala enjoys the educational aspect of being a butterfly farmer. He feels that there is a lot to learn with butterfly farming and he also enjoys learning and using English at the project.
Haji is one of our newest farmers. He believes that ZBC does a good job trying to protect the forest. He says that if people work as butterfly farmers they don’t need to make money from cutting down trees anymore.
Kinyeta is a big fan of butterflies. He joined ZBC in 2008 and is very pleased that the project offers jobs to young people in Pete. His favourite butterfly is the Green Banded Swallowtail because of its beautiful black and electric blue pattern.
Miza has 5 children and started working for ZBC in 2006. While she is happy to work for ZBC she says that it is not always easy. The caterpillars need a lot of care and it is easy for them to die meaning that all her hard work is wasted.
James joined the project in 2008 and has 6 children. He uses the money he earns from butterfly farming to feed his family. James is one of the more outspoken farmers and the staff enjoy his jokes, support and occasional complaints in the weekly farmer meetings.
With a large family of 7 children Mwanvua is very thankful for the extra money she earns farming butterflies. Although she is very busy looking after her family she has become one of the projects best farmers, bringing in many different species of pupae.
Mtumwa is another new farmer but she already makes good money with ZBC. She says this money is very important to her as she has many things to buy to keep her family healthy and happy. Mtumwa mostly farms the African Swallowtail because the female lays many eggs.
Butterfly farming is usually harder for women because they have so much other work to do. Despite having 5 children Khadija is one of the projects best farmers. She likes all butterflies but her favourite is the Flying Handkerchief because they lay a lot of eggs.
After education, Mwinyi returned to Pete in 2003. Like many other young people he found it difficult to find work. Mwinyi was glad to join ZBC as a butterfly farmer. Mwinyi volunteers at the local mosque and when you hear the afternoon call to prayer there’s a chance it’s him.
Not only is charcoal production damaging for the forest but it’s also very hard work. When the opportunity of butterfly farming came up Sancho was more than happy to stop making charcoal and start working with ZBC.
Figo has farmed for ZBC for 3 years and lives close by to the project. He is one of the better farmers at the project and brings a good diversity of pupae including the species that are harder to farm but are more profitable.
Subira’s family all work together to farm butterflies for ZBC. Subira was one of 5 female farmers who received a micro-loan from an American NGO. These mircroloans funded the netting and containers the farmers needed to farm butterflies.
As a new farmer Muslih is doing very well. He is already selling a good number and diversity of pupae to ZBC and staff are impressed by the health and size of his pupae. The ZBC staff look forward to working with Muslih and all the other new farmers in the future.
Although Jozani National Park is a great success for Zanzibar its creation meant that farmers like Safina had to stop growing crops within the new park’s boundaries. This sudden loss of livelihood meant that some people had to turn to charcoal production to make a living.
Juma is the younger brother of Kombo. At only 18 years old he showed great initiative by watching and learning his brother and starting to farm butterflies on his own. ZBC was happy to help Juma and supplied him with some of the equipment he needed.