Growing Trees With Food Crops To Increase Farmers’ Income and Improve The Environment

Mariwo is a forest community in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State but cannot enjoy the benefits of forest as a result of huge deforestation and prolong poor agricultural practices in the community.  The community lacks basic infrastructure and huge number of out of school children as a result of the low economic state of the farmers resulting from poor yield. The low farm yield has even discouraged most of the farmers, some of who are engaging in menial labour works in the city to sustain their livelihoods, some are at the verge of migration while majority are engaging in anti-forest activities which further degrades the environment. We are therefore addressing the problem from the roots by first tackling the land degradation through Sustainable Agricultural Land Management (SALM) practices through project Mariwo Natural.

We are working with the rural farmers in Mariwo community to revive the degraded land through Climate Smart Agriculture approach. To this end, we have created a rural co-working space where youths and rural farmers are working hand-in gloves, exchange scientific knowledge and indigenous knowledge using agroforestry as a tool for healthy food production, environmental protection and job creation.

From our analysis, it was discovered that over 70000 trees have been illegally cut in the community forest. Through the joint efforts of youths and rural farmers, we have returned over 2500 trees in the forest community and farmers who are part of the people that ignorantly fell over 70000 trees are now enthusiastically growing trees along with their food crops.

To reduce post-harvest loss, we have created a market brand called Mariwo Natural. Through this brand, we market produce emanating from the community farmers.