Trees Help Create the Harvest
Less than two years ago the Tanzanian hillside pictured above was a semi-barren mess. As documented here and here, beginning in late 2020, ForestPlanet helped get 80,000 trees planted in the area, now named the Kwezizi planting site. Our initial goal was to revitalize the soils to build back nutrients and retain moisture during the short rainy seasons.
The species of trees planted included pinus patula, cypress, crotton megalocapus, markamea lutea, and podocarpus usambarensis which is unique to the region. All the seedlings were grown in a local nursery. This selection of tree species mimics the biodiversity of the Magamba Nature Preserve that borders this particular planting site.
A key part of the soil restoration strategy was planting ground and cover crops, and a variety of vegetables were planted in November 2021. These crops include maize, onions, yams, and potatoes. About 60% of the bounty is retained and consumed locally, with the balance being sold in regional markets. In this manner both income and food security are increased in the region.
Now in April 2022, just in time for Earth Day, the harvest is starting to come in. Note also from the photo that the trees are getting tall – more than doubling in size since 2020!
Even though this is just a small project, in a small corner of the world, this success has global significance. Geopolitical conflicts are causing food prices to spike worldwide, which causes further instability and disruption. Tree planting opportunities like Kwezizi exist on most continents, and our goal at ForestPlanet is to find funding for all of them.
For example, ForestPlanet has already helped get 275,000+ trees planted in the Irente site, a 2000-hectare project also in Tanzania. We wish to replicate the Kwezizi success on a much larger scale, since there is room for another 1.5+ million trees at the Irente site.
We don’t pretend that forest restoration projects are a cure-all for the world’s ills. But given how rapidly many benefits, including local food production, can occur, these projects are worthy of attention. And at 15 cents per tree they are also extremely cost effective. Please consider donating today, or having your business become an ongoing corporate partner.
You can keep up to date on our progress through our blog and Facebook page, and please leave a comment in the section below!