Five trainings focused on char powder production have been held since February 2013 involving a total of 200 participants from Bagamoyo and Kibaha district in the Pwani Region, Tanzania.
These trainings are part of our project, Scaling-Up of Charcoal Briquette Production in Tanzania which aims at supporting various stakeholders to produce and supply 2000 tons of non-wood charcoal briquettes per year in Dar es Salaam.
Part of the objectives of these trainings is to support Tanzanians in rural areas to increase their income by developing a simple activity that uses readily available resources: the production of char powder by using dry biomass (grasses, leaves, sawdust, coconut husks and other type of agricultural waste). The trained villagers then sell the char powder to one of the two briquette production units also supported by ARTI TZ.
In this project, we work on all steps of the non-wood briquette charcoal value chain: char production and supply at village level, charcoal briquette manufacturing at two production units at district level, marketing and sales within the Dar-Es-Salaam charcoal market.
The trainings are a key component of the first step of the value chain. Villagers and especially farmers are often lacking income opportunities, and yet, they have access to a valuable resource; dry biomass such as grasses, leaves, agriculture waste, coconut shells, rice and maize husks which are, in most cases, considered as waste. This dry biomass is perfect for making non-wood charcoal briquettes. Therefore we train the villagers on how to make char powder by burning this dry biomass with a special kiln.
The trainings last 2 days and are facilitated by our Field Officer, Yasin Thabiti who is a former char producer and our program manager, Manon Lelievre. The trainings are mostly ‘hands-on’: the participants are divided into small working groups which are each given a set of equipment including a kiln. This method enables the participants to become at ease with the use of the kilns and very comfortable with the whole process of char powder production. They are taught what kind of waste to use, which are the best, the quality required as well as the different safety practices to apply and how to use the safety gears properly. Certificates of completion are handed over the last day.
After each training, ARTI Tanzania signs contracts with the interested groups for them to become char suppliers of one of the two briquette production units. ARTI provides equipments, training and transport of the produced char powder while the char producers (organized as groups most of the time) must supply at least 200 kg of char per week. Each kilo of char powder worst 150Tsh.
In the coming months, we will be carrying out about 13 trainings in order to achieve our objective to train over 700 Tanzanians in char production.
Read more about the ‘Scaling-Up of Charcoal Briquette Production in Tanzania‘ project and our two briquette production units in upcoming news.