The Trees of Life

2 thoughts on “The Trees of Life”

  1. It is really interesting story to read. Trees are very crucial for the livelihood of poor farmers in developing countries. I am not talking about tree crops like mango trees, but normal trees. It is almost equally important as other crops. It is used to generate income for farmers selling for firewood, house construction etc. The problem , however, is that farmers have no option than integrating in to their farm production trees that they traditionally knew and familiar with. There is far less options to diversify to multifunctional trees to optimize the benefit from trees. So, this concept of agro-forestry has paramount importance for poor farmers in Africa. I really like the preference of the woman -tree that generated income in August. She is right, there are some critical season where revenues are few and expenditures are quite high. This is lean season. During this time, no grain in the storage because they have already sold all what they produced right after harvest when price is quite low to pay tax and debt, access to market is quite difficult because it is rainy season and roads are full of mud, bridges are destroyed due to heavy rain so forth. This season is called wet-dry season in rural sociology terms. It is wet because it is rainy season and dry because there is no food available for the poor. Typical example for this – poor farmers who live in marginalized rural area of Ethiopia where i am from. So, during this period of the year the only source of income to finance their consumption is by selling fire woods and cow dungs 🙁 Thank you Janina for such interesting topic to discuss 🙂

    1. Thanks for your valuable input, Tesfaye! It’s always so rewarding to hear your first-hand experience! As a side-note, the presenter said that unfortunately, East Africa was one of the regions with the smallest number of local tree species suitable for cultivation and for further on processing – however, I think the first part (the nitrogen-fixing) was possible and very important for that region as well. And even if there is not a huge number of options, even one or two would suffice to make an important impact for the livelihoods of small-scale farmers, right? Looking forward to many more discussions! =)

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