Alpha Women’s Empowerment Initiative are planting grafted mangos to provide sustainable food supplies and income generation, on the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountain in Uganda.
The project team have set up a central tree nursery to grow the seedlings until they are hardy enough to be planted out. It also serves as a practical training base, and 20 participants from the community have learnt to grow and care for seedlings. They in turn will create smaller nurseries in their communities, and will contribute to the sustainability of the project in the long term. Three community seedbeds have already been set-up.
Beneficiaries will become mango experts. 200 people are to be trained in planting and maintenance techniques. This one year project is run under ITF’s Sustainable Community Forestry programme. Masika Margret, Chairperson of the Alpha Women’s Empowerment Initiative is already looking to prologue the project, as word of mouth has created much interest about the project outside of the target communities. Others want to become involved too.
Planting of the 25,000 mango seedlings has started, but it will take two to three years for the trees to mature and bear fruit. As the trees age, they will produce more fruit improving food security and income generation. The project is well on track to achieve this thanks to community mobilization and interest.