FMNR for East Africa: project progress
May 21, 2014
The FMNR for East Africa is a project funded by World Vision Australia and by the Australian Government. It aims at improving food security and climate resilience in smallholder farming systems in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. In order to achieve this goal Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) is being introduced to communities’ members and promoted at the local government level. The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), which partners with World Vision in the implementation of the project, will be responsible for conducting research and evaluation activities.
In the past six months over 1300 farmers have embraced FMNR across all the four countries and have committed to protecting and pruning existing indigenous tree species. Most of the farmers are adopting FMNR at a farm household level and the land coverage has increased to 1208 hectares in Kenya and Uganda alone. Community members have reported an improvement in availability of fodder for their livestock and a consequent boost in milk production up to 2 – 3 litres per day. This increase is good news for children’s nourishment and can generate additional income for the communities.
There has been growing support for FMNR activities from both government agencies and county government. The Rwanda Agricultural Board, has incorporated FMNR into its development plans and is developing proposals to support the roll out of FMNR in various parts of the country. Similarly, the Baringo county government in Kenya has officially incorporated FMNR into its development plans through the Environment and Natural Resource Sectorial Plan and is promoting the widespread adoption of FMNR in all relevant fora. Additionally, Kenya Forestry Services is promoting the concept in its extension services as a best practice and has set aside 40 acres of land for FMNR development.
In Tanzania, the FMNR movement is contributing to the growth of an informal network of like-minded organisations interested in receiving FMNR training to support communities with local training and implementation. Some of these organisations include SMECAO and FLORESTA (covering the Nakombo and Mwamba Miamba respectively), Menonite Central Committee, Anglican Church’s Diocese of Central Tanganyika and MIBOS.
The FMNR movement is also gaining momentum within World Vision as numerous other local projects have been adopting FMNR activities as a solution to their environmental challenges. In June, Tony Rinaudo will be conducting field visits in all the four countries involved in the project .