TREE PLANTING CLUB
On the first sight, just planting a few trees in Africa might not sound very sexy. But, to be honest, we completely disagree with that! The Satemwa Tree Planting Club wants to show that planting trees can be a damn hot and sexy topic.
The population in Malawi is growing rapidly. In the Southern region in Malawi small farmers rely mainly on subsistence farming. This means that most of the crops they produce are consumed by the farmer and their family. There is hardly nothing left to trade or sell for cash. Currently the main focus is on maize as a stapple crop with a very one-sided diet as a consequence. Low electrification outside the main Malawian cities makes that there is a lot of cooking on fire wood and charcoal. This results in a massive deforestation which leads to serious soil erosion. Furthermore, the effects of climate change are real. Heavy rainfall and longer periods of drought are causing mud slides, with even more soil erosion, and failed harvests as an outcome.
Satemwa wants to take up its responsibility towards the environment, the people and the communities we are working with. Since our foundation Satemwa has always protected indigenous forests on and around Satemwa. Over the last 15 years Satemwa intensified its conservation and reforestation programs.
With the Satemwa Tea Planting Club we are taking up our role to help small subsistence farmers to diversify their income and consumption habits by planting commercially interesting & healthy trees. By showing and educating small farmers about the potential for small economic income sources behind reforestation we provide a durable and sustainable approach.
We worked with scientists and universities to select a soil protecting and diversified range of economically viable trees for Malawi. The range is going from healthy fruit trees (Avocado, Java Plum, Jack Fruit,…), to fast yielding Eucalyptus and Bamboo for building; to shade trees (Grevillea) and hard wood (Mbawa). By doing so we stimulate bio diversity and we educate people about short, medium and longer term income sources. Up to the farmers to make their own decisions. Satemwa grows the different types of trees in our own tree nurseries.
We organized different information events towards small farmers and Satemwa employees. We give details and trainings on the range. We explain how to plant, how to harvest, how to market. After the sessions farmers can buy trees at extreme subsidized prices. Even though it is just a very tiny contribution we ask for, we do not belief in giving trees away for free. Ownership is key!
After several years on our own we opened up our tree planting program to our valuable international direct trade partners. In 2022 we started the Satemwa Tree Planting Club to make even a bigger traceable impact. We immediately got the support of 7 international members and many more are lining up to join the club later this year.
From July 2022 till April 2023 Satemwa distributed 19782 new trees to small holder farmers around Satemwa Tea Estates in Malawi.
In addition another 54000 new trees were planted on the Estate and handed out to Satemwa employees.
From January 2023 to April 2023 the Satemwa Tree Planting Club contributed to the distribution of 2000 new trees to small holder farmers.
63% of the trees distributed to the farmers were Blue Gum trees. After 2 to 3 years part of the trees can be harvested and used as building materials.
24% were Grevillea trees used as shade trees in the tea fields – giving effective shade cover after about 3 to 4 years.
About 12% were Nsangu trees, a very important agroforestry species for long term soil fertility. The fruit of this tree is great for cattle.
A small percentage were Bamboo seedlings and a very tiny percentage were fruit trees.
Do you want to learn more. Or do you want to become a member – please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please click the Tree Planting Members logo if you want to know more about the work they do.