The indigenous tree nursery will provide saplings to seven schools in the Matabeleland South Province of Zimbabwe and various rural communities throughout the area. The fruits, honey, nuts, and bark from the trees will provide healthy food for the students and residents. Also, the schools and communities will use the trees to teach students and residents about the conservation of indigenous trees and sustainable harvesting. Our goal is that after five years the nursery will be self-sustaining.
Half of the population in Zimbabwe - some 7.9 million people - are considered extremely poor by the World Bank, which has lead to high rates of malnutrition. In Zimbabwe, 27% of children suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition. Another problem is deforestation. Zimbabwe loses about 330,000 hectares (815,450 acres) of forests annually, with some 15% of its forests lost since 2014.
Indigenous trees will combat the problem of malnutrition because they will produce healthy fruits and nuts for every school and community who grows them. Also, they produce seeds to grow more trees and produce more fruits and nuts, as well as honey and other biproducts (moringa powder, as an example). Our goal is for the fruit and nuts from these trees to be an added source of food for the schools and communities where they are provided and for biproducts to be a source of income for families.
These trees will also be used to teach children and residents about sustainable harvesting and conservation of indigenous trees, planting the seeds for better long-term conservation of Zimbabwe's forests through education and awareness.