Southern Africa Conference – Sustainable Food Security through Land Regeneration in a Changing Climate (April 2015)
1_75

Dennis Garrity: “Even children can do FMNR”

April 16, 2015

TALKING ABOUT LAND CONSERVATION AND NATURAL TREE REGENERATION, HOW DO YOU THINK CHILDREN CAN BENEFIT AND BE A PART OF THIS INITIATIVE?

That is an excellent question because the practice that many farmers in Malawi are adopting called natural tree regeneration is something that children can do very easily. It doesn’t cost any money; they can simply identify good and useful natural trees that come up in the fields naturally and both adults and children can manage them into fully grown trees. It makes agro forestry in Malawi so easy. It’s happening all over the country. As we are talking right now, there are examples of farmer managed natural regeneration from north to south. But, your point about the children is that they can contribute to this because children can actually do this themselves for the benefit of their families and communities. That means involving children in schools as a part of our vision for FMNR.

YOU ARE AN AMBASSADOR OF DRY LANDS. HOW DO YOU THINK MALAWI AS A COUNTRY CAN BENEFIT FROM YOUR EXPERTISE?

Malawi is actually considered to be partly a dry land situation; you know farming in Malawi is rain-fed and rainfall only occurs for a few months of the year. This year as you know, Malawi is experiencing a very serious drought because the rains stopped at the middle of the growing season and that really hurt the nation.  So, although Malawi is not considered a desert; it’s not considered to be a very dry place, it is still classified as semi-dry because in fact it is dry most of the time of the year. So as a Drylands ambassador, my work is to help to spread the solutions, the experiences of countries that are copying with dry conditions and climate proofing agriculture around the continent.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT THE DELIBERATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THIS CONFERENCE BENEFIT THE COMMON FARMERS?

Well, what we have been doing is talking to hundreds and hundreds of delegates who themselves are influential in their own fields and countries and their own organizations to realize that the real issue is about the poor farmers and farming families. That is where the whole attention should be focused. Because when you make agriculture work in a country of small holder farmers, everything works better. Money in farmers’ pockets, buys goods, stimulates industry and creates economic growth and there are so many countries where that has happened and I am happy to say Malawi is getting along the path moving into that direction.  But we want to focus every attention on the people who are called the children of the land, the people who live in those small farms and if we can help them gradually improve their situation, educate their children and creating a changed generation; Malawi will in fact see a brighter future.

One Response to “Dennis Garrity: “Even children can do FMNR””

  1. Alinafe Sozela says:

    I love the point on children that we also put a culture in them while there at school and young, but its not only that i also think and believe that even young people can come in as well. How? i and my friend we formed a group that mobilize the youth from different church and coming together for change on our climate. the group was found in 2010 with 5 churches represented and it is possible because we have a lot of young people who are not working and nothing to do so if we can empower them to make a difference in their communities,

    so i agree that with the children s we can make a great change and not only when there at school even at there homes

Leave a Reply