What is Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration?

Many tree species have the ability to sprout from stumps and roots after they are cut down. Globally, millions of hectares of seemingly treeless farm and grazing lands still contain living tree stumps with this ability to sprout new shoots (stems). Trees also have regenerative capacity from soil seed banks. However, continuous grazing, cutting for firewood and clearing and burning for land cultivation deny these seeds and stems the chance to become trees.

The basic method of FMNR is very simple.

The farmer selects the stumps he/she will utilize and decides how many stems will be allowed to grow on each stump, based on the farmers’ needs and ultimate purpose for reforestation. Excess stems are then cut. With the remaining stems, side branches are pruned off up to half way up the trunk. A good farmer will return each 2 to 6 months for a touch up pruning and thereby stimulate faster growth rates and produce straighter stems.

There is no set system or hard and fast rules for FMNR. Farmers are given guidelines but are free to choose the number of stumps per hectare and stems per stump to leave; the time span between subsequent pruning and harvest of stems and the method of pruning.