Aug 20, 2020

Update during COVID-19

Trees Staff Visits Farmer w/ Social Distancing
Trees Staff Visits Farmer w/ Social Distancing

Trees for the Future’s field projects faced a challenge during the COVID-19 crisis, but our organization and staff responded immediately to ensure the safety of our staff and farmers. After our recent planting, farmers have been taking care of their young trees while continuing to grow vegetables during this difficult time.

Tanzania had very few closures to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but we decided to still be very careful to keep our field staff safe.  On April 6th, TREES halted all in-person training in Tanzania (and all other countries), while also cutting all non-essential spending, but our projects never stopped running.  We provided our field staff and technicians with additional phone and wifi credits so that they were able to work remotely, and provide our farmers with guidance during the Pandemic.

Farmers in our program received virtual support from technicians and lead farmers. Rural farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are among the most vulnerable populations when it comes to health and economic crises. Farmers enrolled in the Forest Garden Program have the ability to grow a diverse array of nutritional produce for themselves and their families. The program has also provided them with the ability to save money for times like these.

TREES staff quickly produced short in-country videos in local languages to describe key processes, such as seed preparation, soil preparation, nursery care, etc. These videos were sent to Lead Farmers via WhatsApp to use as references to guide other farmers in small groups.

TREES developed a new ‘Remote Communications Recording’ tool within our existing monitoring and evaluation reporting system to document all calls, concerns, and communications with farmers. This helps us track and aggregate information, provide advice on key concerns expressed across project areas, and develop target responses to needs in real time. Farmers can easily report issues to staff and staff can provide prompt feedback.

Fortunately, TREES was able to restart a limited kinds of in-field work in June in Tanzania, while still remaining very cautious of changing conditions. Technicians are beginning to travel again to meet with farmers to sign MOUs, but will continue checking in with existing farmers using remote telephone communications.

More information on TREES COVID-19 response can be found here: https://trees.org/covid-19-response/

Furthermore, TREES created a fund to ensure the safety of our farmers in this time, which will help us provide PPE for farmers, along with community health education, tools, and training in the field.  Our goal has been to support farmers through this crisis while ensuring their safety, distance training, and food and economic security during this challenging time.

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Feb 13, 2020

Tanzania Update

Trees for the Future’s projects in Tanzania are just south of the Maswa Game Reserve and Serengeti National Park. Developing tree cover to create more climate smart agriculture is essential to increasing food production, protecting biodiversity and creating systems that can adapt to climate change rainfall and heat fluctuations. With support through GlobalGiving, the 1072 farmers we are working with in the Singida Region of Tanzania planted 977,294 trees in December, 2019.

 

Rains in Singida come in December and January. This is when the outplanting of trees occurs to ensure their survival during the dry season. However to prepare for the rainy outplanting season, farmers must develop tree nurseries and water them for 3 months during the dry season (September to December). It takes about 60 liters/day to water 1000 tree seedlings, which costs about 46 cents/farmer/day. GlobalGiving funds help support this vital element of tree planting.

 

Trees for the Future has three projects in the Singida region that are in different stages

Iguguno (Singida#1) is entering its final year of the program: In this project farmers have completed living fences and intercropping of trees. In 2019 they planted fruit trees and timber trees and a variety of vegetable crops, fully diversifying their fields. In the final year they will optimize their crop selection, learn to harvest seeds and to develop additional income generating activities from their increase crop production. These farmers will graduate in 2021, having completed a 4 year, 16 module field based training program. Each farmer will receive a diploma, endorsed by the United Nation Institute for Training and Research, certifying mastery of Forest Garden Techniques.

 

Tumuli (Singida#2) and Siuyu (Singida#3) are entering the second year of their project. They have completed 2 rows of living fence and completed some intercropping of nitrogen fixing trees. This year farmers will begin diversifying their land  continuing to learn how to best diversify their crops with a combination of fruit and nut trees as well as vegetables.  Farmers pick their drought-resistant and hardy crop portfolio to best meet the nutritional needs of their family and to respond to local market opportunities. The provided graphic shows the dietary needs being met by each crop.

 

Vegetable planting also occurred in December 2019, and farmers will be harvesting crops from February through April. Your ongoing support for this project helps us to continue to address the challenge farming communities face; as we aim to plant millions of trees across Tanzania.  Thank you for your steadfast partnership in this work!

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Nov 22, 2019

Update on the work you've enabled in Tanzania

A farmer from Iguguno in her Forest Garden
A farmer from Iguguno in her Forest Garden

Farmers in Iguguno and Tumuli are continuing to work on protection of their land by planting fertilizer trees and diversifying their crops.

Farmers in Trees for the Future's program are continuing to learn how to best diversify their crops with a combination of fruit and nut trees as well as vegetables.  Farmers pick their drought-resistant and hardy crop portfolio to best meet the nutritional needs of their family and to respond to local market opportunities. The provided graphic shows the dietary needs being met by each crop.

Vegetable planting will begin in this region in December 2019.

Our Tanzania Country Coordinator, Heri Rashid, best describes the continuing water challenges in his country: 

“There continues to be few water sources in Singida especially Iguguno (Singida#1), Tumuli (Singida#2 and Siuyu (Singida#3) wards where we are working. Many water sources are seasonal which lasts for about 2 to 3 months after the rain stops. Farmers have to walk a distance (more than 4 Km) reaching for domestic use as well as watering nurseries. Those water sources are publicly owned and farmers has to pay 50Tsh (0.022$) for 20 liter plastic drum. Farmers with a nursery of 4000 seedlings farmers need to use a water drum of 240 liters per day, which costs $1.86. There are people within the area who fetch water and distribute the water to the community using ox carts. Trees For The Future continues to help farmers purchase water for their nurseries in all projects. 

We remain focused in supplying water for Forest Gardens so that farmers can water trees and vegetables during the dry season.  For now, vegetable production during the dry season is difficult. By working with farmers, we are constructing a 10,000 liter tank so that farmers are able to water their Forest Gardens for 3 or more months.”

Your ongoing support for this project helps us to continue to address these challenges.  Thank you for your steadfast partnership in this work!

 

A farmer from Tumili
A farmer from Tumili
Dietary Diversity
Dietary Diversity

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