Twelve months on from the launch of the Trees 4 Livelihoods programme in Mali we are taking a look back at the progress made so far.
This programme, delivered by our partner Sahel Eco and funded by the Big Lottery Fund, focuses on strengthening local capacity to manage agricultural land and forest resources in a sustainable way through four important projects:
- encouraging smallholder farmers to adopt more sustainable land management practices
- restoring the productive potential of 55 hectares of highly degraded land
- fostering inclusive management of the Koubaye forest to enhance forest resources
- assisting women to increase their incomes through harvesting and marketing non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as fruits, nuts, spices and medicines.
With so much going on, we will feature each of the different project areas over the coming months, through our E-Newsletter and on our web site.
Sustainable land management
In this edition we are taking a closer look at how smallholder farmers in dryland areas of the Konna and Borondougou communes are encouraged to adopt more sustainable land management practices through farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR). The aims are to restore tree cover, reduce erosion and improve soil fertility, all leading to greater food security and reduced poverty.
The project has been busy in organising visits to a demonstration site, conducting practical training sessions and showing videos in the villages to encourage discussion on FMNR. In April, 50 farmers, women’s leaders and local representatives visited the successful Regreening Sokura site, a previous ITF project, to see sustainable land management in action. The visit centred on Mr Bocca Tangara’s field, about one and a half hectares planted with bush willow and a few other species such as tamarind, baobab, balanzan and rônier or fan palm.
The Trees 4 Livelihoods Project Manager, Amadou Tangara, gave practical demonstrations on clearing fields, encouraging trees shoots to grow, pruning and managing ploughing. A fascinating report of the visit has been written by Sahel Eco which you can download from our website giving you a real flavour of the issues and making you feel as if you had taken part.
In addition to those making the field trip, a further 2,110 people have been involved in the video discussion sessions and over 900 people have received practical FMNR training. In the coming months a competition to further promote FMNR with smallholder farmers will be run in partnership with the Agroforesty Commission.