International Small Group and Tree Planting Program

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The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program, or TIST, is a comprehensive sustainable development program for developing-world locations.[1] TIST was started in 2000 and exists in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) and India. The TIST program has three separate but related aims: development, commercial opportunity, and replication.

The development goal of the TIST program is to empower and equip subsistence farmers to restore their natural environment, increase soil fertility, create jobs, strengthen the local community, and move from famine to surplus.

Program summary[edit]

TIST trains and encourages small groups to develop and share "best practices." TIST introduces improved farming and land use techniques to isolated subsistence farmers who are now planting millions of new trees. Using a combination of small group development and training programs and providing small stipends to groups, TIST helps local farmers meet their economic needs, even during severe dry seasons.

Small groups agree to meet the program requirements and assure tree survival and use of improved, sustainable land use techniques for years to come. The improved farming practices and tree planting will improve local welfare by stabilizing the local food supply and by providing families with additional income from TIST tree benefits and payments.

TIST small groups are also educated about HIV/AIDS and equipped to formulate a response to this pandemic at the group and village level. Adopting conservation farming techniques increases food and decreases annual physical effort after the first seedbeds are created. Family members can continue to plant in these seedbeds year after year and have food.

Many of the 86,000 TIST farmer participants were currently using the traditional 3-stone cook stoves or handmade mud stoves. Through work with Envirofit International, TIST has been able to bring healthy cook stoves and the training necessary for an effective replacement for their traditional stoves to many of TIST members.

Project areas

  • Project areas

TIST currently operates in four countries:

TIST origins[edit]

The initial pilot implementation site of TIST was in Mpwapwa, Tanzania. Mpwapwa is located southeast of Tanzania's capital, Dodoma.


  1. ^ Scholz, Sebastian M. (2009). "Case study: The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program". Rural development through carbon finance. Peter Lang. pp. 27–70. ISBN 978-3-631-59250-2.
  2. ^ "Country profile: India". TIST.
  3. ^ "Country profile: Kenya". TIST.
  4. ^ "Country profile: Tanzania". TIST.
  5. ^ "Country profile: Uganda". TIST.

External links[edit]