To ensure food security for local producers in Jos, Nigeria, Hennessy, Reforest'Action and its local partner Green Sahara Farms LTD have developed new agroforestry systems with fruit and leguminous species. This partnership, via the specific "Green Tree Thrift" programme, will enable the deployment and sustainability of agroforestry projects to improve the productivity of main crops.
Overview of the project
Number of trees to be planted: 500,000 trees
Species planted: moringa, mango, avocado, lemon, cashew, papaya, gum tree, laurel
Type of project: reforestation and agroforestry
Planting period: August
Context of the project
Nigeria lost 60 million hectares of primary tropical forest during the 20th century. Today, the country continues to lose more than 5% of its forest area each year due to deforestation. In this context of severe forest loss in Nigeria, Reforest'Action is partnering with the local company Green Sahara to put the tree and its countless benefits back into the heart of farmers' daily lives.
Through the development of agroforestry systems that integrate trees around and within farmers' fields, farmers will benefit from the multiple ecosystem services provided by the planted trees, whether economic, such as the diversification of their production thanks to fruit trees and the generation of additional income through the sale of fruit on local markets, or environmental, such as the enrichment of cultivated soils thanks to the nutrients provided by the trees or the provision of protective forest cover for the underlying crops.Ultimately, the integration of trees into agricultural plots will not only develop and sustain these new agroforestry systems, but also increase the productivity of their main crops, which are collected by Green Sahara Farms for sale to local agribusinesses for export or domestic use.
Green Sahara Revolution is a social impact investment program driven by Green Sahara Farms. Driven by the desire to provide innovative solutions to Nigeria's social, economic and environmental challenges, the program aims to redesign agricultural systems to better preserve natural resources and train farmers in sustainable, economically viable and environmentally sound agricultural practices. Green Sahara's strategic objectives include reducing the environmental impact of agribusiness, preserving water and energy resources and developing biodiversity, increasing production of the country's main crops (spices, tubers, cereals) and creating participatory business models to help empower local communities.
The partnership between Reforest'Action and Green Sahara will allow, through the specific program "Green Tree Thrift", the deployment of agroforestry projects in central and southwestern Nigeria to help address these various issues.
Benefits of the project
Within an agroforestry system, crop diversity has many benefits, including better food security for farmers and their families, diversification of income sources, better distribution of harvesting work during different times of the year according to the seasonality of each species, and better response to variations in market demand. Under the project, which will begin in July 2021 and last 2 years, a total of 250,000 trees of 50 different species will be integrated in the first year within individual agricultural plots belonging to 2,500 producers, on a total area of 1,250 hectares.
Thus, within a cashew field, providing a main crop of cashew nuts (aggregated through Green Sahara Farms and sold to agribusinesses), the project will install a multitude of tree species, around and within the field. Among these, the fruit species planted, such as papaya or pomegranate, will eventually provide a secondary crop of fruit for the farmer's own consumption or for sale in local markets. Leguminous species, such as acacia or cassia, rich in nitrogenous matter, will provide, via their root system, the nutrients necessary for soil fertilization, as well as fodder for livestock. As for the tall tree species, such as ficus or filao, they will provide a protective forest cover over the food crops.
The interaction between the trees planted under the project and the pre-existing agricultural crops will thus be beneficial to production and will gradually lead to an improvement in the standard of living of the associated farmers.