Farmer Field Day: Land use planning and tree planting

On 27th September 2018, 36 project farmers attended a field day organised by Jorge Ramos and the five field staff at the farm of Mr. Peregrino da Cruz. A satellite landscape map showing their tree plantation sites created great interest. Farmers were then divided into small groups and asked to identify eroded areas and where forest fires were more frequent.  They also identified  remnants of native trees and communal areas that could be planted with trees on laminated maps.  Following the group discussion, farmers were asked to rank the forest products and tree species that were most important. They identified Ai-Ru (E. urophylla) as key for firewood, construction, processing of palm wine, honey and fencing. They thought Ai-Ru could have potential for planting and habitat. Bamboo was mentioned as one of the species they would like to increase. Sandalwood is also preferred for its high value.

mapping exerciseFarmer drawing plan.jpgfarm land use map example

The second activity was an exercise in farm planning (land use mapping) as a key component of the carbon certification process. Farmers were given an example of how to sketch their sites (based on printed digital maps the project has produced) and asked how they would like to manage their farms in the present and in the future.  Eg replant trees or plant crops, establish agroforestry systems or leave the area unused. The activity also gives an indication of potential “project leakage” (i.e. transfer of activities from planting sites to other areas). This is relevant to areas where there are remnants of native trees and opportunities to link vegetation corridors for habitat conservation.

The third activity was reinforcing tree planting techniques. Farmers were shown the use of “A” frames to improve contour planting in steep slopes. This activity also included a basic exercise on soil Ph tests to improve matching of sites and species and tree survival. During the activity the use of composting, swells and mulch to encourage tree growth and better crop yields were discussed.

Aframe for tree planting.jpg Soil sampling.jpg

Author: redpandabhutan

I am Project Leader for Darwin Initiative funded project on "Sustainable rangeland management to protect red pandas and herder livelihoods in Bhutan"

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