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FIGHTING POVERTY WITH BUTTERFLIES

WHAT IS THE MARKET FOR BUTTERFLIES

Twice a week, representatives from the Amani Butterfly Project collect butterfly pupae from member farmers. At the end of the day, staff members sort and pack the collected pupae neatly into cardboard boxes lined with styrofoam and cotton.The following day, the pupae begin a 3 to 4 day journey with DHL to a live butterfly exhibit in Europe or the US.

After arriving at a butterfly house, the butterfly pupae are hung for a short period of time before they emerge. Once they emerge, the butterflies are released into a large enclosed garden aviary where visitors come to learn about and enjoy butterflies. Due to the short life span of most tropical butterflies, exhibits typically order new pupae every two to three weeks. The Amani Butterfly Project also sells some preserved butterflies to dealers and collectors.

HOW MUCH ARE BUTTERFLIES WORTH?

Depending on species, each pupae is worth between $1.00 USD and $2.50 USD. Farmers receive about 70% of the final sale price. In a community where households typically earn less than $400 a year in cash income, this is very good money. The chart to the right shows the project's growing sales for each year.

Although butterfly farming is a side activity for most of the households participating in the project, the average household has seen a 25% increase in income since starting to farm butterflies. The main limit on expanding sales further is the relatively small size of the live butterfly exhibit market. To help increase the market for farmed butterflies, the project is now exploring the possibility of creating butterfly souvenirs for tourist markets in Tanzania and gift shops of live butterfly exhibits in Europe and the US.

WHERE YOU CAN SEE OUR BUTTERFLIES

The United Kingdom

Europe

USA

2007 The Amani Butterfly Project