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Oct 31, 2018

Training farmers to become bee stewards!

Bee steward Alfred
Bee steward Alfred

Did you know that in a world without bees we would lose about 70% of all fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. Bees are not only great for our food production, they are also great helpers when it comes to promoting forest restoration, as the bee pollination itself helps the forest regenerate. With currently 16% of bee species having disappeared, WeForest has started to install beehives and train families, in cooperation with local enterprises, to become bee stewards.

In Zambia, there are now 2.540 beehives installed across all WeForest farmers. In July alone, the 151 hives that were harvested have produced 21.5 kg per hive on average. This means that each farmer could increase their annual income with more or less $150, considering that the average annual income is around $300 per year, this means a 50% increase.

An example of a new bee steward is Alfred. At his forest restoration plot, he has five beehives. He used to have beehives before the project already, though they all burnt in a wildfire. Therefore the top bar beehives of WeForest are now hanging in the canopy of mature trees and therefore are protected from those fires. Last July, when harvesting honey from three out of the five beehives, they produced an average of 40 kg per hive and an incredible total of 122 kg. Needless to say, Alfred is thrilled to be given this opportunity and only more motivated to keep caring for his forest...

So, time to express our thanks to our little winged friends and of course to you, for your support in restoring the forests and helping to give local communities income alternatives.

Beehive in tree
Beehive in tree
Positioning beehives in the trees
Positioning beehives in the trees

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Oct 12, 2018

You helped 1052 households diversify their income!

One of the Model Farmers in Amhara
One of the Model Farmers in Amhara

In this year's planting season WeForest was able to reach 1052 households with a total of 105.3 hectares of land. This was a lot more than we had expected! 

The main goal of the project is to work on using agroforestry systems around homesteads and households, and to use crops as for the farmland boundaries. This will help the household to diversify income and provide food for the family and fodder for the livestock. And we have been planting a lot!! 

For example, the community members have planted 34.000 coffee seedlings, 20.000 improved avocado seedlings and almost 236.000 Rahamnes prinoids seedlings. This tree is also called the shiny-leaf buckthorn tree and is a real money-maker as all parts of the plant are harvested and used for nutrition, medicine or religious purposes. 

Furthermore, almost 100.000 tree seedlings were planted to give shade to the coffee trees and to mark the boundaries between different houses and fields. 

Sileshi L. (age 42) is one of the farmers who has participated in this planting. He has three children, of which two of them are old enough to attend school and the youngest one is five years old. Sileshi is one of the farmers that is engaged in the agroforestry project of WeForest in Ethiopia and in his home garden (with 0.25 ha size land) he has planted 160 Rahamnes prinoids “Gesho” and improved avocado trees. In his village Abebe Yenurie, there are another 57 households interested to enroll in the 2018 agroforestry program of the project! 

Another farmer is Mengist Seneshaw M., who is 45 years old. His family exists of seven, including himself. In the land next to his home he grows improved avocado trees and different vegetables for household consumption. He also started planting castor oil trees, of which he now has six. The money that he earns with selling the castor oil, is used to buy chool books for his children. Mengist is not only a ´model agroforestry farmer´ for the project, he is also the village facilitator. This means that he is contributing a lot to mobilize the community and participates and facilitates the community training programs of the projects. 

Agroforestry meeting
Agroforestry meeting
Sep 18, 2018

Every one of your contributions makes a difference

10 millionth tree 3 years later
10 millionth tree 3 years later

WeForest is close to planting its 20 millionth tree.
Did you know that the 10th million tree was planted in the project that you support?


Indeed, the “African tulip tree” was planted in the Yewebesh village, Amhara, in November 2015.
After only three years, the tree has grown to 3.15 meters which is almost 6 times its original size!
Thanks to its many leaves, shading is provided in the training centre which is much appreciated by the local community members.
Thank you for planting millions of trees with us!

Your support enables training framers in agroforestry

Agroforestry is a system combining tree, livestock, crop and insects in a spatial way to boost agricultural productivity and maintain ecosystem wellbeing. 

In populated areas like the Machakel district which has limited land holding size, agroforestry practices are the best option to harness food production and satisfy household tree products need. From the beginning of 2018 until now, we have been able to select 263 interested model households to practice agroforestry in 6 villages. Together with your help, different cash crops, such as coffee and rhamnus, as well as fruit trees (avocado and apple) will be planted in farmers’ backyards as homegarden.

Agroforesty training for farmers
Agroforesty training for farmers
 
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