tentree is partnering with farmers all across Senegal in order to ensure a better future for individuals and the environment.
The ongoing projects in Senegal are unique. The aim is to create 'forest gardens' on previously farmed land. Farmers plant large living fences around plots that usually measure around 1 hectare. They then fill the interior with a variety of vegetable and fruit trees. These forest gardens vary from location to location but each one’s purpose is to offer the farmers an alternative to subsistence farming by ensuring they have stable income from seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Total Trees Planted
Planting Trees in Senegal
The country of Senegal in West Africa faces an encroaching desert as the Sahara slowly makes its way southward. This has resulted in the rural farmers around the town of Kaffrine to experience increasing land degradation and desertification. The desertification, caused by a combination of man-made and natural factors, is exacerbated by unsustainable land use practices. The remaining trees that dot the horizon are all that remain of a once thriving Sahelian forest ecosystem. The last of the adult indigenous fruit trees are slowly dying, and it is rare to find a young baobab, tamarind or bush mango sapling. In this degraded region, the vast majority of the population is involved in agriculture as the primary, and often only, source of income. The average income of rural households in rural Senegal ranges from a low of $10/month to a high of $50/month.
As local forest resources are depleting to make wood fuel and fencing, overgrazing by animals have begun prohibiting natural regeneration of nearly all the Sahelian trees and shrubs. In addition, wind erosion punishes the exposed soil in the dry season, and the annual burning of field crop residue inhibits the return of nutrients to the sandy, mineral-drained topsoil. In the Wolof language, villagers often use the term “dead soils” to describe the dire state of soil degradation. Crop production is often not sufficient to meet the needs of a family throughout the year, and consequently, the poverty level in the Kaffrine region is assessed at 64.8%.
In partnership with Trees for the Future (TREES), tentree is supporting tree planting efforts throughout a network of over fifty villages in the Kaffrine area, developing profitable agro-forestry endeavors that generate a sustainable livelihood for local communities while improving the local and global environment. After the trees are planted, they are cared for and protected by locals.
Farmers see a dramatic increase in dietary diversity and access to nutritious fruits and vegetables; more than 12 types of vegetables grown in every forest garden, and available 12 months of the year.
Forest gardens with a mix of fruits and vegetables can generate $1,000-$2,000. This model provides farmers with consistent crops to harvest, sell, or trade 12 months of the year.
The Forest Garden Approach has incredible environmental impacts such as: sequestering carbon; promoting insect and plant biodiversity, organic composting, practicing organic farming; improving climate change resilience; ending soil degradation and farmer-based deforestation; reforesting landscapes; conserving local forests and animal habitats; and recharging groundwater tables.
We help provide farmers with the opportunity to participate in our planting curriculum. As they progress, we help supply the tools they need such as watering cans, shovels, seed packets, and wheelbarrows.
Our tree planting design includes consistent, nutritious food that can be harvested throughout the year and sold at local markets or consumed at home.
The Forest Garden Program aims to train communities to establish forest gardens, creating a green barrier against the encroaching Sahara Desert.
Wood & Fodder
The trees planted can provide woodcuttings suitable for fuelwood, carpentry, and charcoal. The leaves have a high level of protein and the sheer amount makes the trees a great source for forage.
Each forest garden consists of more than 50 different tree species. These trees are primarily categorized as Timber Trees, Fast Growing Trees, and Fruit & Nut Trees. The primary species is Acacia.
One jujube tree can produce 2 kilograms of edible berries by its second year. Drupes are eaten fresh, pickled, or dried and the juice can be made into a refreshing drink. Fruits are sold on local markets and consumed at household.
Known for their hardiness in dryland Africa, Acacia species are actually very diverse and are native to most regions around the world. Many of the popular agroforestry species are not thorny, though many Acacia species, especially those in Africa, have evolved thorns as a method of protecting themselves from animal browsing, and thereby conserving water.
Mangoes will create economic opportunities for the community especially to women who are burdened with caring for orphans and vulnerable children. There is opportunity for the making and selling of mango juice -- mango achar creates food and high in nutrition. They can also sell excess mangos as side business.
The high protein quantity and the numerous amount of leaves produced well into the dry season make the Leucaena a great source of animal forage. The leaves are also high in nitrogen and are great as an organic fertilizer.
Before tree planting can begin, farmers must construct nurseries to house the growing saplings that will eventually be planted for the living fence or the “Living Wall”. These trees consist mostly of Jujube and Acacia. The nursery is prepared and the seedlings grow about 3 months prior to planting season.
Plant Living Wall
A thick fence of closely-planted trees that a) keep livestock and other pests out; b) protect the field from weather extremes (e.g. wind, fire, flooding); and c) generate additional products that people can use or sell. The living wall is an essential component for a successful forest garden for the farmers in Senegal.
By educating smallholder farmers to practice agroforestry and permaculture, we change how people grow food, reducing negative impacts on farmers and the planet. The Forest Garden is an agroforestry methodology that grounds itself in components that bring nutrients, moisture, and fertility back to the soil. It returns trees to the landscape and rebuilds the value and potential of the land. It transforms ravaged, desert-like fields into self sustaining, productive farms—permanently. It’s proven to increase household income by helping put food in the hands of farmers every day, and making it possible for children to get out of the fields and into the classroom.
Trees For The Future
Trees For The Future has worked with communities around the world integrating tree-planting into their agricultural production, uplifting farmers and their families beyond the poverty line. Through tree-planting, communities are restored to self-sufficiency bringing the land back to health.
Meet Your Planting Team
Senegal Country Coordinator
President and CEO of TREES
Senegal Country Coordinator
President and CEO of TREES