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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > GreenPlanet purchases 25,000 hectares of land for tree plantation

GreenPlanet purchases 25,000 hectares of land for tree plantation

Date : 3rd June 2003, Source : GreenPlanet

GreenPlanet have secured 25,000 hectares of land in the Northern State of Borno, Nigeria. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the State Government assigning the land to GreenPlanet. The land is situated on the fringe of the Sahara desert and will be a major initiative in providing a forest barrier to the encroachment of the desert, which is moving further south each year. GreenPlanet plan to plant millions of trees on this land in the coming years.

We have commissioned the raising of 100,000 tree saplings that will be planted in July and August this year. These saplings are of the Acacia Senegal variety, which produce Gum Arabic. We have already advised in previous e-Gazette issues that Gum Arabic is a very valuable commodity, being used in a wide range of industrial processes. It is most commonly used in the food industry as an emulsifier or binder, such as in confectionery and soft drinks, or as a natural preservative for meat and poultry. It is also widely used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, insecticides, ceramics, ink production, as a corrosion inhibitor, to produce lithographic plates and countless other applications.

The planting of 100,000 tree saplings this year will require some considerable planning and preparation. An appropriate proportion of land needs to be cleared and harrowed, which will require the hiring of 80 labourers for two weeks. We will then need to fence the plot of land to protect the newly planted saplings from grazing animals, and the holes need to be dug ready for the planting at the end of July. Finally, we will need to drill a deep borehole to provide the required water.

And this is only the start! Next year we have ambitions of planting at least 500,000 trees, and the year after possibly as many as two million trees. It is likely to take several years before the plantation is fully covered by tree saplings, and when completed, we will have planted over twelve million trees – an oasis of greenery in the Sahara desert.

The land is obviously very dry, but there are still communities here which exist through scratching a living from the land. One such community is the village of Alili, which is situated very close to our plot of land. The community there cultivates what land they can to grow crops and raise cattle. One of the challenges with farming in the area is that the cultivated area needs to be enclosed as a protection from grazing animals that will readily feed on anything green.

GreenPlanet will be launching an agro-forestry programme this year where we will be inviting local communities to use our harrowed land to grow their crops in between the tree saplings. The provision of prepared ground with availability of water from our borehole, all protected and enclosed by fencing, will give the local communities the best opportunity to grow good crops of millet and ground nut, and this will provide a great service to local communities. GreenPlanet will also be initiating our own arable farming programme on the land this year. We have employed a skilled team of local farming and forestry experts to manage our agro-forestry programme, and from next year, we can expect to see returns from our arable farming project flowing into the members Profit-Share pool, which will provide a significant profit boost to members in the early years whilst waiting for the first harvest of Gum Arabic that is likely to be available from the fourth year. Everyone wins from GreenPlanet’s activities – The environment wins, local communities win – our members win!

Document last updated on Wednesday 01 August 2018

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