Community Agroforestry Tree Seeds Bank (CATS Bank): Building Agroforestry Tree Seed Platform for Diversifying Livelihoods Opportunity in Malawi and Mozambique

Published on 1 January 2010

Research Areas

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Start Date: 1 January 2009 | End Date: 31 December 2009


The long term goal of the project is to improve overall livelihoods of communities in Malawi and Mozambique through promotion of community based tree seed banks and building a platform for scaling up integrated agroforestry portfolio of options.

The projects purpose is to build a platform for establishment of sustainable supply of germplasm based on the CATS Banks (Community Agro-forestry Tree Seed Banks) necessary as support to development organizations involved in large scale promotion of demonstrated agroforestry innovations.

The project’s primary objectives are to:

1. Apply a suite of agroforestry interventions for generating multiple streams of livelihood impact for smallholder farmers;

2. Apply the CATS Bank approach for building stronger platform for wider farmer testing and out-scaling of proven agroforestry portfolios customized for use by development agencies in pilot sites;

3. Building Capacity of communities in nursery production, tree establishment and management, and facilitating community groups on CATS Banks in the pilot sites.

The project’s proposed outputs are as follows.

1. Scaling up platform built generating multiple streams of impact from a range on integrated agroforestry portfolios and multipurpose tree interventions developed and tested (scaling up);

2. A framework for sustainable supply and diffusion of tree germplasm developed and pilot experiences documented and lessons learnt disseminated to policy makers and development agencies (Germplasm); and

3. Capacity of farmers and development partners in CATS Banks model and tree management built for achieving large-scale impacts on climate change, land restoration and livelihood security (capacity).

Additionally, the project will apply four strategic levers to improve livelihoods and generate multiple income streams for smallholder farmers by building long-term farm-based assets and ensuring skills to utilize and manage agroforestry trees for meeting wood, food and seed requirements of farmers. These include:

1. increasing small-holder farmers’ capacity to effectively manage diverse agroforestry innovations in an integrated way;

2. Increase farmers’ knowledge and skills in managing agroforestry trees to obtain multiple products and services;

3. Increase farmer access to information, technology and training; and

4. improve market links for farmers to effectively commercialize tree seeds/seedlings and engage in new farm-related enterprises.

The agroforestry options that will be promoted to achieve the above include:

1. Fertilizer tree systems for boosting crop yields (e.g. intercropping of perennial Nitrogen fixing trees and crops, fallows, and biomass transfer;

2. Fruit tree systems for income and nutrition;

3. Fodder tree and shrub systems for livestock feeding; and

4. woodlots for fuel wood and timber production using fast-growing (native and exotic)including Nitrogen-fixing trees.


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