Trees for Food Security Project- Improving sustainable productivity in farming systems and enhanced livelihoods through adoption of Evergreen agriculture in eastern Africa
- What the project is about
The aim of this project is to enhance food security for resource-poor rural people in Eastern Africa through research that underpins national programmes to scale up the use of trees within farming systems in Ethiopia and Rwanda and then scale out successes to relevant agro-ecological zones in Uganda and Burundi.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To characterize target farming landscapes and systems, and develop tools for matching species and management options to sites and circumstances.
- To generalize predictions of impacts of tree species and management on crop productivity, water resources and nutrients at field, farm and landscape scales to inform scaling up to improve food security and reduce climate risk.
- To develop effective methods and enabling environments for scaling up and out the adoption of trees on farms.
- To develop databases and tools for monitoring and evaluation of the impact of scaling up and out the adoption of trees on farms.
- To enhance capacity and connectivity of national partner institutions (including farmer groups) in developing and promoting locally appropriate options for adoption of farm trees.
The objectives are organized in form of Work Packages (WP) and led by a work package leader.
Major impacts and outcomes:
Establishment of five rural resource Centers (2 in Rwanda, 2 Ethiopia and 1 in Uganda) and nurseries to enhance training and supply of improved tree germplasm. The RRCs have also provided business opportunities for farmer groups and unemployed youth particularly through grafted fruit trees.
Farmers benefit from Avocado seedlings from the RRC in Zeway and tomatoes from the RRC demonstration farm
A section of farmer trainees budding oranges at the RRC in Mbale
Development of a vegetation and species selection map for Burundi which is integrated with the rest of VECEA map including species distribution and species selection tools; and 2 suitable tree species selection tools for Rwanda and Ethiopia.
Improved understanding of tree crop interactions in different species and contexts through establishment of four long-term tree diversity trials, more than 20 controlled on farm and on-station experiments. Over 5,000 farmers have been involved in participatory trials and associated tree planting activities.
Kuli Tiki, a champion farmer whose farm was used as a model farm for other farmers in her area shows the reviewers the different tree species on her farm
Clemena Mukarugwira, Tamarillo farmer from Karago Sector with Tony Barlett at her piece of land planted with tamarillo
Enhanced tree crop modelling capability using a new version of Australia’s agricultural production modeling framework (APSIM agroforestry Next Generation) developed through partnership between CSIRO and ICRAF.
Installation of a sap-flow gauge on Cordia africana Tree in Uganda
Richard Namunyu explaining how the sap-flow gauge works.
Capacity development and strengthening through farmer training and support in MSc and PhD training and through training of national staff in development courses and skills. To enhance outreach of the project initiatives, the project maintains an extensive database in the ICRAF dataverse and the project website which is a repository of project resources and tools. Improved extension systems where training and the use of novel extension methods to promote trees on farms has been achieved.
Through the project, about 2 million tree seedlings have been provided across the project site with close monitoring of their performance by the project staff. Farmers, extension workers and policy makers understanding on the role of trees especially on- farm has also been enhanced.
Tree seedlings distribution in West Shewa, Ethiopia
A farmer in Gakoma, Kadahenda, Gishwati staking her climbing beans using Alnus stakes from her farm
Agroforestry trees transportation from nursery and plantation on farm, Burundi