Mitsinjo Update May 2021

The programme to train local families in different techniques of rice and maize cultivation, planting fruit trees and composting has been successful.   The families who took part received seeds, saplings and tools so they were able to put their training into practice and they chose the type of saplings they wanted for their own land.  Unfortunately, the drought has meant the harvest has been disappointing but the skills they have learned will be useful and help improve production in the future.
10 hectares of degraded land were identified for restoration in Betombotsirika. This was done with the assistance of the head of the conservation unit for Asity Madagascar, a birdlife organisation.   The ground will be prepared before planting 10,000 endemic tree seedlings; 7000 of these have already been planted and the remainder will be soon.
The forest restored in 2020 has been maintained and any trees that died have been replaced from the nursery.
500 fast-growing tree seedlings were distributed to families for domestic use.  The aim is to use the wood from these trees for fuel and construction rather than cut down the natural forest.  Obviously, it will be a while before the benefits of this part of the programme can be quantified, but it is certainly a positive step in reducing the destruction of natural habitat.
In total, an area of 38 hectares of forest has been restored since the start of the project in 2015 and 0.28 ha has been planted with fruit trees since 2020.  This is a fantastic achievement.
Future plans for the project over the next few months include training in market gardening and in potato cultivation.