The Kikelelwa Agro forestry project is one of the projects which has been implemented by Matonyok Organization in partnership with 400 farmers in Kikelelwa, Lokoro, and Tarakea area of Rombo district. The area is situated near the border of Kenya and Tanzania at the slope of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Project area (History)
The project takes place in Kikelelwa, Lokoro and Tarakea. The area is in the Kilimanjaro province characterized by dense population. The area is inhabited by the Chagga community who are predominantly a farming community where they grow crops like maize, banana, sweet potatoes and beans. The soils have very little fertility with high silica contents which is not readily available to the plants. They are also very acidic making them not suitable to grow many varieties of crops. The project is carried out on singles farmers’ field where a total of 400 farmers have participated. Some collective nurseries therefore have been established where they have grown seedlings to be supplied to the members. The nursery centers are also used as farmers field schools where farmers are supposed to learn and replicate the techniques on their farms. They are taught on different organic agriculture methods like composting in order to produce organic fertilizer to be used for soil fertility management in their farms
The land used is the property of the project participants and there is a mutual agreement between Matonyok organization and the farmers
WHAT IT ENTAILS
. It involves different agro forestry practices including planting of over 30,000 trees of different species, managing a number of tree nurseries and trading on seedlings, trees and their products. The aim is to improve the social economic and environmental standards of the communities who will participate in the project economic empowerment and also social and environmental upgrading. Communities will establish collective nurseries that will form as basis for supply of seedlings to the groups. The project therefore trains members on basic tree management skills including nursery management, grafting and transplanting. The project is estimated to take five years from September 2018 to September 2022.
Goals and objectives
The project aims at improving the social economic and environmental standards of the community through planting and other sustainable agriculture capacity building activities. It is located in Tarakea area of Tanzania where soils have been depleted due to population pressure and mono-cropping. It aims at establishing a total of 30,000 trees of different species that will have some economic and environmental value to the communities. A total of two to three nurseries has been established comprising of different trees species that includes fruit trees, and medicinal trees. Communities work together in the collective nurseries and this will boost their social standing. Some of the seedling produced will be sold to the farmers who are not project participants, hence the project will bring some income to the group. The project will also outsource some seedlings especially those that take long to establish.
General proposal for the Forest Plan
below are some of the intented species of trees planted in the project
The tree is used as a fruit both for family consumption and to bring income to the communities through selling of fruits in the market. It is compatible with other agricultural activities in the farm and helps to check soil erosion, It supply pollen for apiculture.
2: Moringa Olvera
Moringa tree is used by many communities in Tanzania. The leaves are used as a vegetable which are also medicinal. The seeds are used as medicine and also for water purification. The tree is compatible with other agricultural activities in the farm It also helps in controlling soil erosion
This citrus fruit does very well in the area and is used both as a local fruit and as an income earner. The tree is very compatible with other agricultural activities and does not deplete the soils
Oranges do very well in this area and are the main crops that farmers rely on for their income. They are used as fruits and for soil conservation
The tree is used as a fruit both for family consumption and to bring income to the communities through selling of fruits in the market. It is compatible with other agricultural activities in the farm and helps to check soil erosion
This is a fruit trees that is both medicinal, food and it's also a cash crop. It's demand is high since it is a a ready food crop when ripen.
Activities and work organization
The project is managed by Matonyok organization and has been implemented by farmers who are already doing different agro forestry activities in their farms. Activities that have lead to the success of the project include:
- Farmers training: They have been trained on different aspects of tree nursery management including establishment, grafting transplanting, tree management including planting, pruning and feeding. They have also been trained on organic agriculture practices including composting
- Tree Nursery Establishment. A number of two tree nurseries have been established. These have been made and managed by the group members with specific detailed organization.
- Tree Registration: Tree registration has been carried out by a specific person who has been employed for this job through competitive process. The person has skills in agriculture and computer operating expertise. He/she has been trained by the program on the process of registration, and the Treedom standards application. He has been expected to register an average of 200 trees per day. The trees so registered will be transmitted to Treedom via Internet which is readily available in the office.
- Project management and monitoring: The person responsible for the overall project management is the CEO while motoring of the project to make sure that everything goes according to plans will be under the administration officer.
What is agroforestry?
Agroforestry is the interaction of agriculture and trees, including the agricultural use of trees. This comprises trees on farms and in agricultural landscapes, farming in forests and along forest margins and tree-crop production, including cocoa, coffee, rubber and oil palm. Interactions between trees and other components of agriculture may be important at a range of scales: in fields (where trees and crops are grown together), on farms (where trees may provide fodder for livestock, fuel, food, shelter or income from products including timber) and landscapes (where agricultural and forest land uses combine in determining the provision of ecosystem services).
Generally,agroforestry includes cultivation and use of trees and shrubs with crops and livestock in agricultural systems. It seeks positive interactions between its components, aiming to achieve a more ecologically diverse and socially productive output from the land that is possible through conventional agriculture.
1. Improved nutrition and food security
Planting trees in agricultural lands can help increase food production and boost food security. Moreover, agroforestry helps in health and nutrition improvement due to increased diversity and quality of food outputs. Tree planting, as part of agroforestry, can be used as a source of fuel, food and non-wood products that can be consumed or sold resulting in additional food and security.
Generally, trees can provide nutritious fruits, nuts, and leaves for consumption in households. Felled trees and their residues can be used as wood energy for cooking and heating while leaves can be used as forage for livestock.
In addition to food products, agroforestry also supports the production of a wide range of products such as timber, fiber, fodder and forage, craft products, medicinal products, hedging materials, and gums and resins among others.
3. Creation of resilient livelihoods
Growing trees together with crops and animals can help reduce the vulnerabilities associated with agricultural production and even improve the recovery after natural disasters, hazards, or socioeconomic downturns. Agroforestry economics, for example, helps to increase the diversity of production within the system thereby reducing the risk of economic failure.
The roots of trees can strengthen the soil structure; mitigating soil erosions, improving soil fertility, and preventing possible landslides. Furthermore, trees can help prevent desertification and its social, agricultural, and environmental consequences.
As such, improved and sustainable productivity leads to increases in levels of farm income. It is also worth noting that agroforestry can bring forth sustained employment and higher income, which leads to an improvement in rural living standards.
4. Climate change mitigation and adaptation
Growing trees in agricultural systems can reduce the impact of climate change on agriculture. Sourcing tree products from trees grown on farms reduces the need to cut trees and hence reduce the rate of deforestation that is quickly getting rid of the planet’s carbon sinks while releasing stored carbon into the environment. Trees in agroforestry systems, therefore, help to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration.
Further, Agroforestry plays a critical role in improving climatic conditions and weather patterns by modifying microclimatic conditions such as temperature and water vapor content of air and wind speed, resulting in beneficial effects on crop growth and animal welfare.
This in general, can limit the effects of climate change and global warming on agriculture as it can help in regulating air quality, water concentration, rain cycles, and patterns, and wind erosion.
5. Environmental benefits
Careful planning and integration of agroforestry can help protect the natural resources in the environment. For example, growing trees can help improve the quality of water and its quantity by filtering and capturing of water resources.
Trees also support biodiversity by providing a suitable environment for insects, animals, and plants. If trees with nitrogen-fixation function are part of the system, agroforestry can help restore soil fertility.
Other environmental benefits of agroforestry systems include reduction of pressure on natural forests, more efficient recycling of nutrients by deep-rooted trees on the site, increment in soil nutrients, improvement of microclimate, and reduction of surface run-off. The systems also help improve soil structure and provide better protection of ecological systems.
6. Support local communities and cultures
Agroforestry is designed to help local communities and cultures thrive. With the help of agroforestry specialists, indigenous people and local communities can continue with the local beliefs and culture while ensuring long term sustainability of the traditional systems.
Furthermore, by preserving indigenous working techniques and species, agroforestry also helps to protect humankind’s agricultural heritage.
It is also worth noting that agroforestry can lead to decent rural livelihoods, cultural diversity, and maintaining local spiritual beliefs. Agroforestry also helps in the stabilization and improvement of local communities by eliminating the need to move sites of farm activities.
7. Can reduce poverty in some areas if practiced sustainably
Trees and tree products have economic value that can get agro foresters a source of livelihood and potentially reduce their poverty levels, especially in developing or emerging economies. The value addition of newly-produced tree products can be a source of employment and income for individuals.
Furthermore, farmers can take advantage of the incentives offered to support agroforestry as sources of income. It is also worth noting that growing trees can help reduce the production costs resulting in increased household income.
In addition to increment in outputs of food, fodder, fuelwood, and timber, agroforestry systems also help in the reduction in incidences of total crop failure, which is common in monoculture and single cropping systems.