World Vision launches natural regeneration project
World Vision, a non-governmental organization, has launched a project to encourage farmers and individuals in the Talensi-Nabdam District to use local tree species to go into forestation and to reclaim bare lands.
The project, known as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), is a method of re-forestation where sprouting tree stumps are natured by farmers on their farms to grow into trees to save the environment from desertification.
The three-year project, to be sponsored by the Australian government through the Australia Aid for International Development (AUSAID), would build the capacity of farmers to undertake the FMNR Project.
As part of the launch a workshop was organized for stakeholders including chiefs, assembly members, opinion leaders Department of Forestry and Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Tongo.
Mr. Tony Rinaudo, Natural Resource Management Advisor of World Vision Australia who facilitated the workshop, said the FMNR was the cheapest and rapid method of reforestation and was replicable without external and government support since seedlings were not required.
Mr. Rinaudo said the project, which started in Niger over 25 years ago, had covered over 6 million hectares of farm lands, spreading largely by word of mouth from farmer to farmer which led to increase in crop yields, large scale of land reclamation and forest regeneration.
He said farmers in Niger, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Chad and Ethiopia who practiced the FMNR could now take good care of their families because they got firewood to sell, fed their animals and also got good yields due to the forest regeneration.
Mr Rinaudo appealed to traditional authorities, district assemblies and community members to embrace the concept since it was cost effective and had enormous benefits including curbing desertification.
The Programme Manager of World Vision in charge of the Talensi Nabdam District, Mr. Norbert Akolbila, said the area had the potential to adopt the project and that it was selected because of the excessive surface mining in the area as well as its rocky and bare nature.
Mr. Akolbila said he was optimistic the area would be naturally regenerated in a few years and proposed that the assembly and traditional rulers should collaborate to enforce by-laws to halt bush burning and indiscriminate felling of trees.