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Tree growing booming in Ethiopia

(16/09/2010)
On-far tree growing is increasing rapidly in the Amhara region in Ethiopia. Major drivers are the market conditions, the land tenure process and advice from Finnish family forest organisations.

 Farm forestry in Amhara region, Etiopia. Local partners and village boys by the planted eucalyptus trees. (Photo Veli Pohjonen) 

The Amhara region profits from a high demand for construction poles at main markets (Bahir Dar, Addis Ababa, and Sudan). Another driver is land tenure security through the land registration and certification process. Farmers are engaged in expanding woodlots and converting agricultural land into family forestry plantations.
Forestry is already considered to be the third economic corner stone, after agriculture and livestock, for thousands of farmers in the region. Eucalyptus generated a quarter of annual cash incomes to the farmers (2007). Tree planting is increasing steadily. In 1997 – 2009, a total of 7.2 billion seedlings have been raised and planted by farmers.

The policy environment, institutional and regulatory framework in Ethiopia is favourable for promotion of small-scale farmers practising forestry. The two main areas of challenges face small scale forestry: Inadequate knowledge and information among small scale farmers on issues related to commercial aspects of forestry and weak farmers’ organizations to support and promote small scale commercial private forestry.

Mr. Veli Pohjonen is showing the measuring of the breast high diameter in the Amhara region inEthiopia.

The project is part of the AgriCord Smallholder Forest Producer Association Development Fund, which works with FAO NFP Facility and Forest Connect. The Finnish Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) will make advisory services available for family forestry in a twinning partnership. Funding for the project is provided by the Finnish government.

The project will focus on management capacity and service delivery for concrete financial benefits from sustainable forestry in the pilot areas. The project will involve three cooperatives with a direct outreach of 700 households. Zenbaba Union is the implementing host organisation in the Amhara region and Kyyjärvi Forest Owners’ Association will serve as the twinning partner in Finland.