Report on Master Tree Grower Program 17-21 September 2018

Zimconserve in association with its partner Beyond Subsistence of Australia convened a successful Agroforestry Seminar at Zimbabwe Food for the Hungry-Chitungwiza that began in earnest on the 17th and closed on the 21st of September 2018.
The Seminar, was graced by participants who included, local farmers, government representatives, Agricultural experts and the media. We had a delegate from Zambia in attendance, farmers from Gokwe and Chinhoyi as well. Everything, fell into place as we visited various demonstration sites in and around Chitungwiza, such as Harare, Beatrice, Goromonzi and Seke where we had the opportunity to see firsthand various agro-based projects such as carpentry workshops, Apiary, Agroforestry and fish farming.
The Aussie team gave incisive lectures on the Agroforestry Industry. The holistic approach involved lessons from the nursery stage up to the marketing end (value addition). They also shared invaluable lessons and demonstrations on how to measure the diameter of a tree, without felling it using some special measuring tape, and to prune effectively using proper tools. We discussed, the challenges likely to face a farmer such as common tree diseases and the long period it takes to harvest a tree.
We also exchanged notes among ourselves and the Agricultural experts from Agritex, EMA and Forestry Commission shared their knowledge on the subject including environmental conservation. All in all, we had a busy schedule but thank goodness, we managed to pull through, without much incident, save for say an aborted trip to a school of the mentally challenged, which we could not visit owing to circumstances beyond our control. Otherwise, everything went according to plan, as everyone else went home smiling with their certificates.

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