Promoting fruit tree cultivation
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CTA. 2004. Promoting fruit tree cultivation. Rural Radio Resource Pack 04/03. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57288
Lesoga Motoma, Executive Director of the Forestry Association of Botswana explains how her organisation is promoting fruit tree cultivation.
Promoting fruit tree cultivation Cue: While the planting of trees in homesteads and crop land is a traditional practice in many areas, in other places it is a more recent innovation. And even though the benefits of trees on farms are now widely recognised, organisations that aim to spread agroforestry techniques still have to plan their approach carefully. In Botswana, for example, an NGO called the Forestry Association has, since 1983, been working to reverse the destruction of natural woodland. One recent project has been the promotion of fruit trees on homesteads. But getting a ?new? technology like this widely accepted has required the organisation to work through local chiefs and through schools, as well as offering incentives to the farmers themselves. Lesoga Motoma, Executive Director of the Association spoke to Busani Bafana about the work. IN: ?Farmers like to develop.? OUT: ?. acquired from primary level and secondary level.? DUR?N 5?45? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Lesoga Motoma, Executive Director of the Forestry Association of Botswana, was talking to Busani Bafana. Transcript Motoma Farmers like to develop but then the question sometimes is the practicability of those methods whether they can afford to do that. Taking into consideration that the land which they have been given are just small plots, but they would need a larger chunk in its entirety. Unless they come together as communities in woodland management projects - be it agroforestry or anything - but when they come together then they can be able to get larger chunks of land to manage sustainably. Busani You have talked about the challenge that has faced your Association, in effect promoting a fully fledged agroforestry. But you have recorded some successes in planting indigenous trees even for orchards. Tell us briefly about that. Motoma I wouldn?t say for orchards, that is a big thing. But the other thing that we have done which is still in the line of agroforestry is the homestead one, where people planted trees in their own homesteads. They would plant three indigenous species, one of which would be a fruit tree and they would plant two exotic species, one of which would be a fruit tree. And in that way, that was the agroforestry of the home, which would also provide shade, it would provide some form of firewood, it would also provide some form of soil fertility. We are encouraging Batswana people to plant the indigenous species so that they can maximise the benefits from them. The benefits mainly being that they don?t have to water them as much, they are frost resistant when they are in their right environment. They can withstand the termites, the poor nutrition of the soil also is OK for them because they sink their roots quite deep. They can also stand the drought because they tap water from quite deep. So that?s basically what we are encouraging the farmers, even at their homes, to do. We are not only limiting ourselves to big farmers; even the upcoming ones in schools we are also targeting and we are encouraging all the facets of agroforestry in the schools, and also targeting the teachers to teach agroforestry as they teach their agriculture curricula. Busani I notice in the summary of the Association?s performance you indicate that to date we have planted indigenous trees in the 64 villages in approximately 7,250 households through the Home Tree Planting Programme. How easy has this been to get the involvement of the communities? Motoma I would say we were successful because we approached it the traditional way. We went through the chiefs and we used the Kotla system. The Kotla system is where the local gathering area that is called by the chief. So that is how we would come in. And people would embrace this around the home tree planting, and then that?s when we would discuss on how best to do it. And that is how we have been successful. Although since people didn?t quite believe so much in indigenous tree planting, at the beginning when they started they would take care more of the exotic species than the indigenous. But because we also had incentives for those who had 100% or 80% survival some would just go along so that they get those incentives, which were two grafted citrus fruits. And because they wanted that they would take care of the indigenous species as well. And in that way since the indigenous species would only need that one year to be taken care of, then they would get established and thereafter need not much attention. And that?s how we have managed to succeed. But we lost out on those who were sceptical at the beginning or the laggards who would come after everybody else had gone because by the time they came we had already passed to another village. We wouldn?t go back to the same village the same time. This is one thing that we have learnt that in future we will have to stay in one area for more than a year. Busani And what does the future hold? What do you hope to do in the future as far as expanding your programmes? Motoma We still have a lot to do. We need to go back to communities and get them together because that?s the way to go now. And on agroforestry encourage the inter-cropping of horticulture, trees, both exotic and indigenous because we can?t cast out the exotic trees, there are those ones which are good. We would also like to move aggressively into soil conservation and addressing the energy issue of using fuel wood because now people are cutting live trees for fuel wood and that is very bad for a fragile environment like Botswana. We also would like to continue with the schools - to target primary schools, to target secondary schools so that they grow up with the knowledge of planting trees, of agroforestry and all the interventions of woodland management or environmental management. So that even when they grow up wherever they go to work, whatever career they choose, they would have that basic knowledge in them, having been acquired from primary level and secondary level. End of track.