As a part of our JANEEMO project, as well as the Centre’s general commitment to reforestation efforts, we began constructing a new and improved tree nursery this past May. We have spent the past two months leveling the ground in the nursery area and learning about different tree grafting methods from our resident tree expert, Issac Banda.
While we have already grafted a number of fruit trees in the nursery, this week marks the beginning of our efforts to plant JANEEMO (jatropha, moringa, neem, and acacia) trees. In Malawi, July is the ideal time to begin seeding in the tree nursery as it gives the seedlings three to four months to mature before the rains, at which point they will be ready to be outplanted. Outplanting at the beginning of the rainy season increases a trees likelihood of survival by giving them as long as possible to establish their root system before the long dry season.
For the 2012/13 rainy season, Kusamala plans to have 15,000 trees in its nursery ready for outplanting. The trees will be shared with surrounding communities, planted at our demonstration site, and made available for other reforestation projects. They will be part of the larger JANEEMO project, which includes similar tree nurseries and plantings in communities in the Dowa and Lilongwe districts.
Eventually Kusamala will also be involved in the processing and sale of the tree products, including biodiesel from the jatropha seeds and moringa powder as a nutritional supplement. In this way we plan to provide a market for our partner communities that will diversify incomes and provide an incentive for reforestation efforts.