The villages of Bolou Ativimé, Bolou Gatigbé, Bolou Agbadomé, and Bolou Klokpoe, in the Zio River Valley in Togo, April 2022
The agroforestry and forestry project in the Zio River Valley, in the villages of Bolou Ativimé, Bolou Gatigbé, Bolou Agbadomé, and Bolou Klokpoe, aims to plant fertilizer and fruit trees on farmers’ plots to enrich biodiversity and soils – and so boost food crop yields and avoid using chemical inputs and GMO seeds.
To reach these targets, the project plans to plant 40,000 trees of about ten different species, between 1,600 beneficiaries in four villages in Togo.
In December 2020, 29,116 trees had been planted, despite the Covid-19 health crisis.
In 2021, the activities of the project continued, with public meetings held in January 2021 to raise awareness among the local population living in the four villages.
During these meetings, local partner APAF Togo raised awareness and trained participants on various topics related to climate change, soil degradation, and agroforestry using fertilizer and forest trees. A total of 2,079 farmers gained awareness and received trained during these public meetings in the four villages, which exceeds the objective set by the project.
Following the training and awareness raising sessions for the farmers from the villages, the reconstituted groups of nurserymen from the previous year were given the small equipment needed to continue nursery activities. In the four villages, the nurseries produced Samanea saman, Albizia stipulata, Terminalia superba, Albizia lebbeck, Khaya grandifoliola, Tectona grandis, Cola nitida, citrus limon, etc. seedlings. Supported by the agroforestry technical advisor, the nursery groups organised the following activities:
- Constructing shadehouses
- Potting bags and their alignment
- Pre-germinating fertilizer and forestry tree seeds
- Transplanting seedlings
- Seedling maintenance and watering
To complete the previous wave of planting, a total of 35,991 seedlings were produced and planted by the nurseries in the four villages during 2021.
The seedlings were then distributed among the beneficiaries, who then planted them on their plots. A total of 65,110 seedlings were produced and planted in the four villages and surrounding area over the two years of activities.
Monitoring of the fields and plots planted served to observe the development and survival of the fertilizer, forest and fruit trees distributed and planted by the farmers in the villages benefitting from the project.
The agroforestry technician and project coordination team continuously monitor the fields. During these follow-up sessions, the beneficiaries are given advice on planting and cultivation.
These visits have revealed that most of the seedlings distributed and planted survived the first months after planting, since the survival rate was 85% in 2020 and 90% in 2021. Mortality is mainly linked to the effects of climate change in the region, notably the shorter the rainy seasons and longer dry seasons, as well as rising temperatures.
These results are encouraging and in line with the project’s goal of establishing 40,000 perennial trees in the region.
The third year of the project will mainly focus on awareness-raising activities, planting agroforestry and forest trees, and monitoring the beneficiaries in the fields to see with them which trees have really been planted, which one have survived, and to correct any technical errors.