This last rainy season has been a significant time for CRESS as, for the first time, eight of the original farmer groups have planted over a 1000 trees distributed via the CRESS Agriculture program. Planting has started with 524 papaya and 516 mango seedlings. After distribution to the farmers, agriculture officers Julious and Yunia gave planting demonstrations and showed proper care and maintenance techniques for good seedling survival.
Around the world, fruit trees are often grown in and around vegetable gardens. The trees offer the multiple benefits of nutritious fruit for improving diets, income generation from the sale of fruit after only a couple of years or less, and also protection from severe sun and rainfall.
As the refugees stay longer in Northern Uganda more of the region’s forests and trees are cut as fuelwood for cooking and poles for construction. It is now vital to start replenishing the wood source stocks in and around the refugee camps as well as in the local villages. Developing tree planting skills is the first step towards this.
We hope tree planting activity will increase through future growing seasons as the farmers learn more about growing not only fruit trees but trees of a number of different species for fuelwood. Also, by growing tree seedlings ourselves, we hope to make the planting program self-sustaining.