Landscape labeling: an agroecological market innovation for Mbeya

The Ecoagriculture Working Group, along with the Enrivonmental Resources Management Center for Sustainable Development (ERMCSD) and EcoAgriculture Partners is working with agricultural leaders from the Mbeya region to advance market opportunities that financially reward producers and their communities for stewarding biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Landscape labeling is a new marketing mechanism that can provide financial incentives to farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk and specialty forest product harvesters for practicing agriculture in ways that help to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services while improving livelihood security. A landscape label can encourage consumers who share these values to participate through their purchases and payments in management strategies that help promote a healthy landscape.

The workshop held on September 24-25 seeks to:

  • Enhance appreciation and understanding by leading agroecological producers, local enterprise owners and agriculture and conservation professionals in Mbeya about the potential and the requirements for landscape labeling to improve local livelihoods and conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Agree upon a conceptual framework for pilot testing a landscape labeling approach to marketing SRI-rice and other agroecologically grown products in Mbeya including, for example, forest margin honey, shade coffee, organic avocado, livestock managed through integrated methods and others
  • Initiate a plan for pilot testing the development of a landscape label tied to enterprises that stand to benefit smallholder producers including women and their families
  • Contribute to the exchange of knowledge and experience among participants that will guide the preparation of a learning module on designing and implementing a landscape labeling approach to marketing for use in Mbeya and other distinctive landscapes.