Photo credit: Africa Rising
Photo 1: Avocado sapling in Lemo Upper gana. Photo: ICRAF/Hadia Seid)
Intensifying with high value trees in Africa RISING Ethiopia – some reflections from the first phase
As I write this piece on progress with the high value trees research protocol in Africa RISING Ethiopia, several circumstances, mostly the first Africa RISING project inception meeting in 2012, crosses my mind. I joined the meeting representing my organization, the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF). I was delighted because the theme was on sustainable intensification where trees could play a central role.
While the role of trees in sustainable intensification was clear for most of the workshop participants, there were also many skeptics who made remarks such as not being sure if the tree component should be included in this project. Their main argument was that farmers will not be willing to plant trees since it takes a longer time for them to mature.
I continuously made the case for the role of trees in every single statement I made. I was determined to change the completely wrong perception but it also earned me the nick name “trees” by fellow project participants. Never mind, our early win proposal in sustainable intensification finally got through!
To be honest, the worries of the skeptics were not entirely unfounded. So in our early win study objectives, we decided to also find out why tree planting is successful in some areas but adoption is slow in others (see our Tale of Two Villages for the final story.
We also brought together experts from different disciplines to dialogue on ways to overcome and conflicts and create synergies (see a report). This was followed by detailed local knowledge assessments to identify knowledge gaps and demand driven technologies. See the reports: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52334; http://hdl.handle.net/10568/41680, and http://hdl.handle.net/10568/33559.
Read the full article: Africa Rising