NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS
FROM VELD PRODUCT RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT - PROTECTING AFRICA'S
Community-based Agroforestry Project (CBAP)
The Community-Based Agroforestry Project (CBAP) was started in June 1997.
The main objective of CBAP is:
"To support communities in the development of appropriate low-input and
sustainable agroforestry systems that will increase food and household security
for subsistence farmers in semi-arid Botswana."
In 1995 VPR&D established an agroforestry trial at its site in Gabane.
This trial combines indigenous fruit tree species with traditional crops
and rainwater harvesting, and is used for experimentation and demonstration
purposes. With CBAP VPR&D aims to disseminate the experience that has
been gained with this trial into communities, to create an interest in
agroforestry and to develop viable and appropriate alternatives to traditional
agriculture. CBAP operates in villages in the eastern Hardveld: Gabane, Thabala,
Paje, Letcheng and Tsamaya.
The Schools Programme
Agroforestry demonstration plots were established in September 1997 at the
following schools: Thabala Primary School, Paje Primary School, Gabane C.J.S.S.,
Mokgala C.J.S.S. and Shanganani C.J.S.S. The trees were planted at the end
of October and many students were taught about tree planting, tree management
and agroforestry. The tree species that have been planted are; morula, morojwa,
mogorogorwane, and mmilo. Monthly visits have been made to the schools and
teaching materials on tree planting and agroforestry have been prepared for
the teachers involved with the project. The demonstration plots serve to
introduce the concept of agroforestry in to the communities.
The Farmers Programme
Farmers were informed about the project through kgotla meetings and the
Agricultural Demonstrators. To date 13 farmers have joined the project and
are preparing their plots. The trees will be distributed in December. The
farmers contribute P1.00 towards each tree, and make all the management decisions
themselves (such as which species of crops and trees to plant, and where).
Experimentation with various species and techniques is encouraged, and training
is provided where needed.
The project has been funded for two years and ends in June '99. Further donor
funding will be sought to continue the project.
The project has been funded by the European Community (EC) and the Government
of Botswana, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry Department for two years (June
1997 - June 1999) and is supported by Skillshare Africa. It is expected that
a follow up will be required after this period and further funding will be
sought to continue the project.
1998 promises to be an interesting year as farmers will become actively involved
in the CBAP. The project approach will be participatory and will focus on
learning by doing. Farmers will be encouraged to experiment with various
species and techniques in an effort to determine the most suitable agroforestry
interventions for their specific farming systems. To facilitate this process,
appropriate training materials and methodologies need to be developed by
the project so as to add sustainability to CBAP and enable VPR&D to expand
its agroforestry activities.