Short or long term gains?
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CTA. 2002. Short or long term gains?. Rural Radio Resource Pack 02/3. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57329
An agroforester from Zimbabwe describes how a system of ?tree tenure? encourages sustainable harvesting of indigenous fruit trees, explains ways of adding value to the fruit, and how domestication of indigenous fruit trees can take the pressure off natural forests.
Short or long term gains? CUE: The marketing of fruit from indigenous trees is becoming increasingly popular in many African countries. As a result, rural communities are finding a new way of earning income from their forest resources. However, if the exploitation of these fruit is done carelessly, trees can be damaged and the resource lost. One cause of careless exploitation is uncertainty over ownership; if the trees do not belong to anyone, nobody is responsible for ensuring that they are harvested responsibly. The World Agroforestry Centre, also known as ICRAF, is working in Zimbabwe to support sustainable use of indigenous fruit trees. In our next report, Livai Matarirano, an agroforestry development facilitator, explains to Sylvia Jiyane how some communities in Zimbabwe have established a system of ownership for wild fruit trees, and how ICRAF is helping them to earn more money from their fruit marketing. He also warns of the dangers of over-exploitation and suggests an alternative way for farmers to boost their fruit harvests without damaging the natural forests. Sylvia began by asking to what extent rural communities were already practising sustainable management of their forest resources. IN: ?There are cases whereby ? OUT: ? the demand on the forest.? DUR?N 3?21? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Livai Matarirano, pointing out how growing indigenous trees on farm can reduce the pressure on natural forests. Transcript Matarirano There are cases whereby communities are managing their resources in a sustainable way, but in the majority of cases this is not the case. There is a lot of deforestation, a lot of desertification that is coming on, as a result of the removal of trees. But just to highlight examples of where sustainable management of forest resources is, one is where communities have seen the economic benefit of exploiting a natural resource. I?m talking here about indigenous fruit trees, which has developed into tree tenure. People know that they can harvest fruit from it and sell it and get some money, and what is happening is now they are cultivating around the trees and one that is cultivated, it means that somebody owns it. Now by caring for the tree, and also that there is individual ownership, you will find that the harvest and productivity of that tree is extended for quite a long time, and that leads to sustainable utilisation of resources. Jiyane Do you sometimes carry out some activities together or joint projects, with the community? Matarirano We have quite a number of activities that we do with communities. One is on value-adding of indigenous fruits, where we have been looking at ways of marketing these indigenous fruits rather than just sending them to the market raw. Is there anything that you can do to improve on the quality or the way that you present it to the market? One of the ways that has been developed is to make them into flour, grind them and make them into flour, and that flour can be made into porridge, can be added to milk to make yoghurt, or it can be just added to water, and you have a drink, maybe fresh or you can have it frozen and so forth. And by providing that variety, the market is acceptable, and then you have income coming in, so that?s one direct benefit. Jiyane In your opinion, what have been some of the main threats to sustainable use of forest resources? Matarirano The main threat is immediate gains. People want money but forest resources don?t grow as fast to match that demand, so many a time when a benefit, an economic benefit has been realised by the farmers, they will go and exploit forest resources such that they are depleted, and there is a lot of deforestation. For example, there is this plant called Sclerocarya birrea, which people brew into ?marula?. In South Africa they produce a wine, marula wine. Now if there is a market that is readily available for it, people will just go into the forest, harvest, and bring it to the market. Yet when you look at what happens in the forest, because the demand is so high, the care is not there, such that the produce will get less, and less, and less. But we say that if people can be taught about the use of these things, how they can be grafted or planted, so that you reduce the period from planting to production, then it means more trees can be produced and maybe that will also reduce the demand on the forest. End of track.