Uganda has a rapidly growing population, which is putting a great deal of stress on the country's forests by increasing demand for firewood, pushing agricultural expansion, and expanding land settlement. As a result, Uganda now has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. In Northern Uganda, much of the forest has been cleared for charcoal production, degrading wildlife habitat and presenting a hardship for local farmers.
Our partners are working with local farmers in Paibona, Northern Uganda to plant trees on their land. These trees will provide the farmers with sustainable food and income by growing fruits, nuts, and medicines. In an area that has experienced extensive clear cutting for charcoal production, planting trees will improve agricultural yields, reduce soil erosion, and improve the health of the soil. It will also protect biodiversity by improving habitat and will provide a jump-off point for several other sustainable agroforestry projects in the area, improving the livelihoods of hundreds of Ugandan farmers.
A variety of trees will be planted based on the needs of specific sites. These include indigenous trees such as the Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa), which produces shea butter; Afzelia africana, an endangered hardwood; and several Acacia species. Useful non-indigenous trees include Grevillea robusta, Gmelina arborea and Leucaena leucocephala as well as fruit trees like Avocado and Papaya.