The Luanshya team kicked off a vegetable gardening project with the Luanshya Forestry Commodities Association in October. These farmers just received their cabbage seedlings. The project is working towards an offtake contract for the production of cabbages, tomatoes and green beans grown by 42 producer groups. This improves the livelihoods of the farmers, further reducing pressure on the forest.
Percy, our farmer with many hats
A WeForest member since 2015 with an area of Assisted Natural Regeneration of 0.69 hectares, farmer Percy grows maize, soya beans, sweet potatoes and groundnuts. In 2017, he was chosen by the local community to become a bee mentor, and WeForest training meant that Percy excelled in his duty to manage hundreds of beehives. In 2019 he trained with WF to be a Community Forest Ranger, and in 2020, he was elected as Chair of the Luanshya Forestry Commodities Association. Percy is a respected member of his community, championing the needs of his fellow farmers and the forest in which they reside.
Fires have been grabbing international headlines in Brazil and Australia, and unfortunately Zambia wasn’t spared either. Robert S.’s farm might have been affected by forest fires, but thanks to properly maintaining the surroundings of his hive and the supporting trees, the farm wasn’t harmed, allowing a healthy bee colony to thrive!
A pioneering participant
Evan M. is one of the first farmers to take part in the programme here in Luanshya. He grows maize and has started to grow aloe vera, and the project will see him protect and nurture wild tree seedlings on his land. In exchange, he received 10 beehives from which he harvested 68kg of honey in June 2019. Evan M. has now joined the chicken training because he wants to diversify his farm and establish a neighbourhood chicken rearing group dedicated to egg production.
Restoring and protecting over 2,400hectares with hundreds of smallholder farms. This area is equivalent to almost 3,000 football pitches!
Supporting women to run their own nurseries where they can sell fruit trees to other farmers for a steady income
Training bee-mentors so support farmers develop alternative forest-friendly incomes
Planting 4,600 fruit trees
Thank you for your support!
Stories from the Field
Women-led tree nurseries are developed through a three-step process. On the first training day, women are trained in how to set up a small plant nursery. A month later, and after a visit to their farms by the extensionists has taken place, a second training on fruit tree grafting and budding takes place and, finally, the successful new farmers receive grafting equipment and tree stock as they complete their training.
Proud community members from the different zones of Luanshya successfully finalized a training by WeForest and the Forestry Department in Forest Law application. Certificates were handed out during this official ceremony, making them Community Forest Guards. With their knowledge and practical experience, they will support the protection of the Assisted Natural Regeneration plots in Luanshya.
Mary S. joined the Luanshya project in 2018, together with her husband Solomon, who is a beekeeper. A hardworking and determined farmer, Mary joined the nursery and plant propagation training. She realized it would be a good way of making a living and that is exactly what she is doing today. Thanks to the support of WeForest, she now has some 2,000 lemon, 5 avocado, 30 pawpaw, 35 granadilla and 30 mandarin seedlings for sale. To top it off, Mary was awarded WeForest's title of Best Performing Farmer!
A farmer to follow
Anne S. has been actively involved in the Luanshya project since March 2019 and recently attended a training on how to set up a nursery. When we visited her nursery afterward to see how she was doing, Anne's enthusiasm and dedication surprised us all. Within 2 months she had managed to not only set up her nursery, but approximately 1,000 seedlings had already germinated! We can't wait for Anne to attend the next training which will be on plant propagation.
“We all have a part to play”
Mbewe B. joined the WeForest training sessions in 2018 and developed a keen interest in fruit tree propagation as a way to diversify his income. That way he is able to pay for his child’s school fees. “We all have a part to play in protecting and growing our farm forests”, he told us. “And we can all make a real and tangible difference: anyone can come up with their own nursery regardless of gender and age. We can easily forget charcoal production.”
The Luanshya project runs all year. In January vegetation surveys are conducted to assess the region. In the same month fruit trees are planted, and again in August and September. In December pine and fruit trees are planted.
In the same month, the process of Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) starts with a restoration.
There’s a break in March – when farmer training takes place – and picks back up in April and May when ANR-mapping is done. Then it continues up until August as well as in October.
Training activities are an important aspect of this project and besides farmer training, women's nursery training is done in September and extensionist services or farmer education in October.
In the first year of beekeeping, there is nothing to harvest yet and starting from the second year honey harvesting is done in June, July, and November.
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