Uganda has continuously lost its forest cover from 24% in 1990 to 9% in 2015 making it one of the countries with the highest deforestation rates globally. With reforestation and afforestation efforts by state and non-state actors, an increase to 12.4% by 2020 was realized. As the country continues the struggle to restore forest cover through a number of commitments and efforts such as, the NDP III which targets to increase the national forest cover to 15% by 2025 including planting 200 Million trees (150,000ha) which translates to 18% forest cover by 2021; the National Vision 2040 which targets to reach 24% by 2040; the Bonn challenge commitment to restore 2.5million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2030; and NDC target of increasing forest cover to 21% by 2030, a number of challenges have been realized.
The challenges to tree growing and realizing the commitments made include limited access to financing, weak governance, and limited extension services; while on-farm challenges relate to termites, climate change-related effects such as drought and floods, fires, lack of seed and seedlings among others.
FMNR is a cheap and replicable model, which if implemented well can address most of the on-farm challenges and contribute to increasing forest cover.
Internal World Vision studies show that the cost of implementing FMNR programs are very modest compared to tree planting costs. Using a Tree Planting approach – at the end of the project, an investment of $2.22 per living tree had been made, with no change over time. This means more trees would only come about with more funding. This cost rises over time as tree survival rates decline year on year. At 40 trees per hectare, this translates to $88.80, noting that WV does not pay planting or re-planting labour costs. Using the FMNR approach – at the end of the project, an investment of $1.27 per living tree had been made. Assuming an initial post-project rate of spontaneous farmer adoption of 33% per year, reducing to 20% after 3 years, the investment per living tree is just 31c per tree after 10 years, in the absence of any new funding. With an average of 40 trees per hectare, this translates to project costs of $50.80 and $12.40 at end of project, and ten years after end of project respectively
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