Forests play a vital role to the people of India, where about 275 million people directly depend on forest resources. They provide material for industry, food and nutrients, timber for housing, and fuel. In addition, forests provide shelter, food, and safety to thousands of species of plants, animals, insects, and fungi. This project focuses on planting fruit trees in India. Not only does this contribute to a cleaner planet, but helps alleviate hunger, nutrition deficiency, and poverty—especially in rural communities.
DEFORESTATION IN INDIA
India’s forest cover has actually increased in recent years. This is good news on the surface, but it’s important to make sure forests are increasing for the right reasons. Sometimes ‘monoculture’ tree plantations (designed to grow quickly, often for wood production or agricultural purposes) can actually damage a region’s natural ecosystem and encourage the use of pesticides and chemicals.
We are committed to avoiding this type of ‘monoculture’ planting in India, and have chosen a partner who takes a multi-faceted approach to planting trees. The organization focuses on planting fruit trees in community lands and homesteads of marginal farmers with small landholdings. When these trees mature, they provide a sustainable source of food and additional income to local community members. Working with NGOs and self-help groups – especially women – on a local level, our partner identifies villages and farmers that already have access to land where agro-forestry and fruit tree planting will diversify the local economy, as well as promoting biodiversity and cleaning the air and water.
WHY PLANT TREES IMPORTANT?
· ALLEVIATE HUNGER:-Fruit trees can provide food and nutrients to communities for over 50 years. Healthy trees can sustain an entire family for a lifetime.
· PROTECT BIODIVERSITY: -India contains more than 7% of the world’s biodiversity on 2.5% of the Earth’s surface. Planting native fruit trees will help protect vital habitat for plants & animals.
· SUPPORT LOCAL ECONOMIES:- Rural populations rely on agricultural produce for a source of income. Planting fruit trees provides guaranteed earnings.