From Zambia to India: towards a global FMNR movement
March 6, 2015
Our third week in Zambia was spent with Rolf Shenton of the Grassroots Trust, meeting with some of his contacts, being interviewed for radio & television; meeting with traditional chiefs and their headmen and visiting a farm where restorative, low-input agriculture is being practiced (and increasing corn yield from 1 to 8 tonnes/ha without fertiliser or chemical inputs). Increased trees in and around farms and grazing areas are key to restorative agricultural methods.
This week, we have been in India, collaborating with the World Agroforestry Centre. The Indian government announced their Agroforestry Policy in February 2014; a new government has since been elected and they fully endorse the Agroforestry Policy. We have met with the Department of Agriculture, NGOs & Research Institutions to develop ways of supporting the implementation of the policy to benefit smallholder farmers across India.
Next week, we will be involved in an FMNR workshop with World Vision India with the same trainees that we worked with last year and a few more. Policies and red tape have been a stumbling block over the last year but as the Central Government works vigorously to clear roadblocks, we will be ready to continue working with communities to take up and benefit from agroforestry.
“Grassroots Trust hosted Tony and Liz Rinaudo of World Vision Austrailia last week to raise awareness of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration FMNR in Zambia. Our visitors shared their 30 year experience in spreading this simple idea around Niger Rep, Africa and more recently the world. Farmers in Niger have restored over 2 billion trees on over 5 million hectares to become the only country in Africa to experience net afforestation without planting a tree and very little investment by govt or donors!
Our message: Zambia too can be reforested rapidly, at low cost without planting trees using this traditional technology. Farmers need to build confidence in FMNR and secure user rights to entice them to invest in restoring trees.”
Previously published on Rolf Shenton’s Facebook Page – visit his page for additional info and pictures!
Tony Rinaudo is Natural Resources Advisor in the Food Security and Climate Change Team at World Vision Australia. Tony pioneered FMNR in Niger during the 1980s and is currently travelling in Zambia and India to further promote the tecnique in these regions.