TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
OVER 24,000 farmers are expected to benefit from the farm forest programme aimed at encouraging tree plantings in fields to provide additional income and nutrition to the soils.
The Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and We Effect, a Swedish Co-operative non-governmental organisation, have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote farm forest activities which will run up to next year.
We Effect regional study circle co-ordinator Martin Sekeleti said the programme, which is being piloted in Choma and Mwinilunga, could be extended to run for a longer period after a review by the two organisations.
“We are going to work with farm-related organisations, especially those at district level, because they know the people on the ground. This project involves advocating for farmers to integrate forestry in their farming,” Mr Sekeleti said in an interview.
He said in Mwinilunga, the orgnisations will teach farmers how to use forestry products for timber, energy sourcing and bee keeping while in Choma, the programme has been necessitated due to the high demand for charcoal which has led to deforestation.
He said benefits of integrating forestry in farming are that it adds to soil fertility and is a cash spinner as farmers can sell the wood.