Pressure from Ethiopia’s growing population, combined with unsustainable land use, have severely degraded the land. This reduces the land’s productivity, forcing people to farm and graze the land ever more intensively. These factors, combined with challenges related to soil type, topography and drought, have created a vicious cycle of environmental and human degradation.
We rehabilitate degraded and marginal lands to improve the economic conditions for the people living on them.We help rural communities by planting multipurpose trees that improve the soil’s productivity while at the same time yielding edible fruits, livestock forage, medicine and wood for fuel and construction. We work primarily with farmers and community groups in marginalized areas. Their full participation and ownership of the projects is crucial to the sustainability and success of our approach.
Trees for the Future and its partners have four community nurseries in Konso, producing 260,000 seedlings to distribute in each rainy season. In Guraghe Zone, 1.1 million seedlings were produced, and Trees for the Future helped train organizations and individuals in nursery management, agroforestry and sustainable land-use practices. In Oromiya State, we’ve helped farmers and community-based organizations establish 20 community nurseries. By June, these nurseries will have a total of around 200,000 seedlings to plant for coffee shade, as well as to provide cooking fuel and animal fodder. We train them in agroforestry techniques.
Several Peace Corps volunteers from the first group of Conservation and Natural Resource Managers to reach Ethiopia are taking advantage of our technical and material support to start small-scale tree nurseries in their host communities.