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Engage farmers in reversing deforestion in Zambia

by WeForest
Engage farmers in reversing deforestion in Zambia
Engage farmers in reversing deforestion in Zambia
Engage farmers in reversing deforestion in Zambia
Engage farmers in reversing deforestion in Zambia
Engage farmers in reversing deforestion in Zambia
Engage farmers in reversing deforestion in Zambia
Engage farmers in reversing deforestion in Zambia
Fruit tree grafting Training
Fruit tree grafting Training

Fruit tree grafting as a skill supports businesses, women empowerment and environmentally friendly practices

In Zambia, girls often drop out of school too early to start taking care of their family. Therefore, WeForest has a specific focus on training women to become entrepreneurs. By learning new skills and organizing themselves, women can diversify their income and become more financially independent.

Jane N. is 42 years old and Treasurer of a women’s cooperative in Mpatamatu, in Luanshya district, Zambia. In August 2016, she followed a fruit tree grafting training together with some other women of her region. Now, one year later, she is taking the lead to organize those women into a women’s grafting group. They will graft different varieties of Orange trees (incl. Valencia) and Citrus trees (incl. Tangelo) for commercial purposes. To support them, WeForest is preparing their first order where we guarantee market take off at competitive prices for their first 500 healthy grafted fruit trees.

Women that follow those training receive mother stock, seeds and grafting equipment to start up their own micro nurseries. They are asked to invite other women in their neighborhood to disseminate the knowledge to. Also, women that come for training are engaged in reforestation where they set aside a minimum of 2 lima (0.5 ha) of land for assisted natural regeneration.

In Zambia, deforestation and forest degradation severely impacts local livelihoods and directly affects the local water table. By diversifying people’s income and engaging them in forest restoration activities, reforestation and economic benefits can go hand in hand.



Empowered farmers are environmental stewards
Empowered farmers are environmental stewards

Your support is now impacting more people and restoring more forest than ever.

By supporting this project you are helping to restore the threatened Miombo woodland in Zambia´s Luanshya district and empowering farmers to improve their livelihoods by keeping the forest standing. That´s good news for people, planet and climate. Remember that trees are the best technology to combat climate change. 

In October 2016, 470 farmers were involved in our project. Today, 195 more smallholder farmers have been trained and are ready to begin restoring the Miombo woodlots on their farms. With a minimum of two limas (0.5 hectares) of forest each, there is the potential to increase the area under restoration by around 100 hectares, something that wouldn´t have been possible without your support.

Our project makes sure that trees are worth more standing than felled. Farmers are trained to harvest biomass sustainably, offering families a new source of income straight from the forest itself! There are a number of other socio-economic development activities they can take up as well, including honey production from beehives installed in their Miombo woodlots.

Training took place over the course of two days. In the morning, theory classes took place, on assisted natural regeneration (the method farmers use to restore the woodlots) and beekeeping, followed by practical training in the afternoon. Almost just as many women took part as men. Out of 195 farmers, 93 were women and 102 were men. We make sure that women have the opportunity to improve their livelihoods too.

200 other farmers have signed up to receive training in 2018.

It is always extremely exciting to see the interest from people living alongside the forest we´re restoring. We couldn´t do it without them, and we couldn´t do it without you either.

Thank you for supporting our efforts. We encourage you to keep on doing so, to restore forests, empower rural families and make earth cooler.

Practical training in ANR under the forest canopy
Practical training in ANR under the forest canopy

WeForest has good news to share about the reforestation project in the Copperbelt region in northern Zambia. Almost 500 farmers – 470 to be precise – have signed up to our project and 417 hectares (1030 acres) of indigenous miombo woodlots are now under restoration.

Our reforestation approach in Zambia is quite unique: by training the farmers in sustainable forestry techniques, they will be able to harvest wood from the woodlots on their land (an important income source), while at the same time improve the ecological structure of the woodlots: more trees of better quality.

We have ordered 1000 beehives that are being installed in the woodlots of the participating farmers. The bees are important for pollination of the farm crops and the honey is of course an extra source of income for the farmers. It is another stimulus for the farmers to protect and restore the woodlots on their land.

Attached is the latest planting report of the WeForest project in Zambia. Here you will find more information, for example about the women entrepreneurs supported by the project who are now operating home-based fruit tree nurseries.

We hope you enjoy reading the report and please contact us if you want any information. Thank you for supporting WeForest and for Making Earth Cooler!

Beehive on smallholders farmland in the Copperbelt
Beehive on smallholders farmland in the Copperbelt

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about bees. This isn’t surprising, given that they are declining at an alarming rate worldwide and their disappearance would leave us without almost 70% of fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. It’s not just bees either. The annual global food production driven by the earth’s pollinator species amounts to between $235 billion and $577 billion yet, a growing number of these species, approximately 16%, are being driven towards extinction. 

Due to the role of bees in promoting forest restoration and providing food and income opportunities, beehives are becoming an increasingly popular sight across environmental restoration areas as a means to encourage the conservation and restoration of forests. Through the harvest and sale of honey, rural families can earn a living from healthy flourishing forests - an incentive for local engagement in forest restoration. Moreover, bee pollination itself helps the forest regenerate. It can also increase agricultural yields in nearby farms, providing additional benefits to farming communities.

That’s why, in Zambia, as part of our efforts to restore the native Miombo woodland, we are engaging local families in beekeeping and honey production. One beehive can easily produce $20 revenue in one years’ time so with enough space for around 4 beehives per hectare of woodland, each family can earn an estimated $80 a year per hectare. This represents a substantial increase to their current income, which averages at around $300 per year.

With the right training and in cooperation with local enterprises, families are being transformed into bee stewards. They are seeing their incomes grow and their forests restored thanks to your support.


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Organization Information


Location: Overijse - Belgium
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @WeForest_org
Project Leader:
Maurah Van Impe
Overijse, Belgium
$15,903 raised of $20,000 goal
250 donations
$4,097 to go
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