In Chad, one of the world's poorest countries, the United States' aid organisation, CARE, has launched a national tree-planting project to counter the effects of a devastating drought.
GV Semi-desert scene in Chad.
GV Riverside nursery.
G Wide river sandbank.
GV Native village.
GV Natives working in field.
SV White agriculturalist looking at saplings in desert soil.
GV Workman watering and tending saplings in nursery. (3 shots)
In 1975 the United States Agency for International Development granted CARE GBP 610,000 (1098,000 US Dollars) to plant 8,750 acres (3540.3 hectares) over four years. At the time, all projects submitted to funding agencies had to include an agricultural component, involving increased food production, better grain storage and improved herds. Two officials of the CARE organisation and a team of agriculturalists from the Chad government Department of Waters and Forests are now supervising the most crucial period of the "acacia albida" project. Over the next four weeks, all the seedling in the nurseries are to be planted in the village forests and in the fields. The trees have to be established before the end of the rainy season. The seedlings are about 3 months old and will take between 10 and 15 years to mature.
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Background: In Chad, one of the world's poorest countries, the United States' aid organisation, CARE, has launched a national tree-planting project to counter the effects of a devastating drought. For five years, the country has been facing soil erosion and failed harvests which have crippled the national economy based on raw cotton and cattle.
The CARE agency has started a "food for work" scheme, rewarding farmers who co-operate with the tree planting project with wheat and soil.
SYNOPSIS: Faced with Chad's denuded soil and scanty vegetation, the CARE organisers decided to introduce the acacia albida tree. Eight nurseries have been established throughout the country, each with over 40,000 seedlings.
Fast growing yew and eucalyptus trees are also being planted in villages to provide firewood and shade. The acacia is to grow alongside crops in the fields, because of its unique agricultural value. It has a reverse deciduous cycle, giving humus and protection to the soil when other plants are leafless and dormant. Farmers receive a sack of wheat and a gallon (4.5 litres) of oil for every hectare (2 1/2 acres) of land given over to tree growing.
By next year it is expected that one million acacia trees will have been planted. The scheme has the backing of the Chad government and now involves over 3,000 farmers. The incentive of free food has persuaded many to join the project. The aim of land conservation in itself was hard to sell to farmers battling to survive from one harvest to the next. They are now beginning to benefit from increased crops while ensuring the future of their livelihood.