KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
SOME smallholder farmers in Eastern Province practising agro forestry besides cultivation of crops are expected to earn about US$3 million from the World Bank bio-carbon fund.
This positive development follows the validation of 130,000 carbon credits as a result of the trees’ contribution to lessen greenhouse gas emissions.
The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) is promoting and implementing a Landscape Management Project (CLMP) Carbon project initiative in nine chiefdoms in five districts in Eastern Province.
The COMACO carbon initiative has so far produced a total of 265,578 emission reduction (carbon credits), with the World Bank bio-carbon fund having offered US$4 million per emission reduction under the emission Reduction Purchase Agreement signed in April, 2015 and approved by the Zambia Environmental Management Authority.
COMACO chief executive officer Dale Lewis said farmers are exposed to a natural system that imitates nature for restoring life and fertility in the soil.
“The technology is a simple technology that any small-scale farmer, even an illiterate farmer can learn and practise and will lead to sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation methods.
“They use off-cuts from the agroforestry to preserve the soil after making composite manure and reserve adjacent forests for bee keeping,” he said.
Mr Lewis said COMACO has not yet accessed any World Bank bio-carbon funds yet because the credits have not yet been sold.
Recently, COMACO had its methods validated and its first 130,000 carbon credits verified although the final registered verification has yet to be issued.
“The World Bank suggested that its International Finance Corporation [IFC] might be a source of funding but the discussions did not advance further and hopefully in the coming weeks we will learn more,” he said.
COMACO, which is promoting community conservation efforts through community conservation plans and community conservation areas (CCAs), also encourages increased adoption of sustainable agriculture in and around CCAs and promotion of bee-keeping in such areas.
The organisation is further promoting community protection of forest resources through local law informers who are co-operating with government law enforcement.