Robin Wood in Tanzania
“When I first came here as a settler in 1982, there were lots of trees together with elephants and lions,” recalls Sabinus Ndolu, a farmer in Fulwe (Tanzania). Then, more and more people arrived; the trees disappeared and with them the animals. Now nature is hitting back. There is less and less rain and harvests have plummeted. Sabinus wants to change that.
Peter Lüthi, Biovision Project Reporter
“The more trees there are, the more clouds and so the more rain,” Sabinus Ndolu is convinced of that; it is what he has observed in the last 30 years or more. In 2013, Sabinus and his farmer group decided to act. They attended a basic course in ecological farming run by the NGO Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT). Biovision has supported SAT since it was established and today it is the destination of choice for the training of farmers in ecological agriculture in Tanzania. SAT also helps with the production and distribution of “Mkulima Mbunifu”, the only magazine for farmers in Tanzania in the local language of Swahili and set up as part of the Biovision FCP Programme.
Bring back the woodland
Sabinus and his group learned how to make compost and natural pesticides from plant extracts, how to grow vegetables and keep poultry. The also learned how to adapt their cultivation methods to cope with the arid conditions. The farmers then decided to bring back the woodland. Sabinus alone has already dug 1000 holes in the ground for the seedlings. As soon as the plants are large enough, he can start the process of reforestation.
Trees make rain
For more interesting stories and information, see the background report by Andreas Sicks, Head of Programmes and Partnerships at Biovision. Read PDF