Butterfly farming for pro-poor tourism

Supporting pro-poor tourism and environmental conservation through butterfly farming
2011 SEED Award Winner Biodiversity Zanzibar, Tanzania, United Republic of

The Zanzibar Butterfly Centre (ZBC) and the proposed Manyara Butterfly Centre are tourist attractions where visitors can see butterflies in botanical gardens. The butterflies are raised by local farmers and sold to ZBC for display or export. Butterflies require an intact ecosystem, creating incentives for the community to manage the local natural environment sustainably. ZBC runs a botanical garden in Zanzibar. It trains local famers in raising butterflies and buys the butterfly pupae from them. The butterflies are then either kept in the botanical garden or exported. ZBC is the first operation of its kind in Tanzania. The success of the existing facility has encouraged the organisation to plan a second, larger butterfly centre near Lake Manyara. This will help to diversify the range of services offered to tourists and improve the incomes of smallholders. 

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

The initiative helps the local community to diversify its income base, creates a sense of ownership of natural resources and upskills local farmers.
  • Helping the local community to diversify its income base through training in business skills.
  • Empowering women, with flexible working hours.
  • Creating a sense of ownership of natural resources and increases environmental awareness. 


  • Contributing to the long-term alleviation of poverty in the region.
  • Selling locally produced art and crafts to contribute to community development.


This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Zanzibar Butterfly Centre (ZBC) provides technical support, market assistance and equipment to the butterfly farmers.

Butterfly Park (T) Ltd. is a sister company of ZBC and will provide expertise and some financing for the new Manyara Butterfly Centre.

Jozani Environmental Conservation Association (JECA) is a local NGO that works with ZBC to create the necessary ecosystem for raising butterflies.

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