Farmers heed our call to come to nurseries for free tree seedlings
The month of April marks the start of the tree planting season as rains are more reliable in the Elgon sub-region, METGE, as a tree planting organization, launches the distribution of tree seedlings across all our nurseries at 45 locations and invites farmers to pick up seedlings, free of charge, to plant on their farms.
We invited farmers to pick tree seedlings that are right for their location and requirements and we can offer advice and training to nurture the trees. METGE offers a selection of tree species that fit the individual requirements, whether this is for general trees for shade, construction or fuel, or fruit to increase livelihoods or fodder for animals.
Locals select tree seedlings to go and plant.
Youth plant trees.
Ms Agatha Namakoye, is blind, aged 60 years and is a volunteer at Bungokho Village Nursery bed, in Bukedea District one of our newest nurseries commissioned in 2020 under Salem-Uganda.
She is very passionate about tree planting despite her visual impairment disability, Namakoye says “when the tree planting project was extended to her community she offered to assist our nursery operator to take care of the tree seedlings ready for distribution to the community members''.
“The community here appreciates tree planting because this has changed our lives especially for the women. We shall no longer move distances to collect firewood. Because when the trees we planted grow that we got from this new nursery bed, we shall be able to get firewood,” Namakoye says.
She adds, “that the trees will help control the effects of climate change since the area is almost bare with no trees at all and when it rains, the floods affect or destroy our crops and homes but the trees will help in sucking the waters deep in the soils”.
A woman plants a tree.
The METGE team and the community planted about 50 trees to kick start off the campaign to plant trees for this planting season in the vicinity.
According to the chairman of Bungokho Village, Bukedea District, Mr Robert Magombe, “we are grateful that this tree planting project was extended to our community.
“We have encouraged people to plant trees and thus we have seen some changes. The fruit trees have done a good job especially for the youth. They have improved their income status when they sell the fruits and also eat some thus improving on their family nutrition,” Mr Magombe says.
In Bushiende Sub-County, at Bumaena Nursery bed in Mbale District,which is controlled by our Implementing Partner Bungokho Rural Development Centre (BRDC), many people heeded to our call and together we planted trees along the roadside boundaries.
According to the Chairman LCIII Bushiende Sub-county Mr Kibalatsi Samuel, the tree planting project in their community is important.
“The people of Bushiende rely on brick making as a source of income and they cut down trees. Therefore, cutting down trees without replacing them will lead to serious effects of desertification and we do not want this to happen here. Therefore we have encouraged people to always plant more trees when they happen to cut them down,” Mr Kibalatsi says.
Mr Kibalatsi, plants a tree.
At Bunambutye nursery bed in Bulambuli District, our Implementing Partner, Mount Elgon Agroforestry Community Cooperative Enterprise (MEACCE), trained farmers on how to plant trees especially in the gardens and which tree species cannot destroy their crops. The main fear of some of the farmers was that since some of them have small pieces of land, they would rather plant food instead of trees.
The devastating effects of climate change have not left their communities untouched, the floods are the order of the day, because of the flat lands which in most cases are bare of trees. Some communities and farmers that have planted trees,it has helped a lot, especially in absorbing the flood waters.
Therefore, the community says they will plant trees. After the training and sensitization some left with tree seedlings such as Musizi, Acrocarpus among others for planting.
At Lukhuna Nursery bed which is managed by our Implementing Partner, Share an Opportunity Uganda (SAO), farmers also were happy about the useful sensitization about tree planting.
Farmers are grateful for the presence of the tree planting project in their community and say they will come for more tree seedlings to plant.