Plant 750 million additional trees for transformative economic and environmental sustainability across Africa with Focusing Philanthropy and One Acre Fund

As always, Focusing Philanthropy covers all overhead costs. 100% of every donation will go to the Planting Trees For Resilience Phase 2 Initative.

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THE NEED

In Africa, more than 50 million smallholder farmers depend on what they cultivate in their small plots for their survival. They consume nearly all of their harvest, often running out of food before the next planting season and enduring the hardships of the “hunger season.” Unfortunately, they do not produce enough surplus to generate income for diversifying their diets, educating their children, addressing healthcare needs, or creating a safety net against personal and agricultural uncertainties.

These farm families constitute the world’s largest climate-vulnerable population, as their livelihoods -rain-fed agriculture – are highly sensitive to even slight changes in temperature and weather conditions.

One Acre Fund provides Sub-Saharan African farmers the tools and training they need to grow their way out of hunger. But, beyond food security, farm families need assets to protect against unexpected costs and allow for investments in their futures. Tree planting not only benefits the environment, but it also acts as a long-term, cashable savings plan for the rural poor; the challenge is bringing the practice to scale.


THE APPROACH

Participating farmers benefit from the tree planting initiative in multiple ways. By growing and harvesting trees, farmers benefit from crop diversification away from their core staple crops (usually maize), which helps to overcome the primary production and market risks inherent to smallholder farming. Trees are resilient to most of the external risks that create production shocks in staple crops, such as drought and disease. The market for lumber is lucrative, meaning mature timber trees can be cut at times of farmer need, improving farmer resilience and financial sustainability throughout a variety of adverse conditions. Economically productive fruit and nut trees can provide a steady source of income that is less susceptible to weather and pest-related disruptions than other crops.

Additionally, tree planting offers several environmental advantages, such as offering wind protection and shade for other crops, reduced soil erosion, and multiple uses of tree byproducts, which can be used as mulch, compost, and livestock feed. Certain tree species can be used to enhance soil health, while others can be used to demarcate farm perimeter boundaries. Branches from growing trees can be cut and sold for regular income, used as firewood, or as poles for climbing beans.

Farmers’ investment in the tree program encompasses their labor and the opportunity cost of dedicating a portion of their land to this purpose, with minimal (often no) out-of-pocket expenses for seedlings in most countries.

Tree planting also offers significant environmental benefits that can have lasting impacts on carbon dioxide sequestration, increased biodiversity, reforestation, and protection of indigenous forests. By providing their own source of firewood, farmers reduce the pressure on nearby natural forests, and the need to clear forest land for agriculture is diminished as existing farmland becomes more productive. This dual benefit of improving farmers’ livelihoods and promoting environmental sustainability makes tree planting a valuable practice for both farmers and the planet.

 


THE GOAL

750M Trees (Phase 2 of One Billion Tree Program)

From mid-2024 through 2030, 750 million trees will be planted in eight sub-Saharan African countries, profoundly improving the financial circumstances and climate resilience of over four million participating farmers and their families and achieving a level and diversity of positive environmental impacts we believe is substantially unmatched on the African continent.

Campaign donations can be made to Focusing Philanthropy, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations are fully tax-deductible, and 100% of the funds contributed go to Planting Trees For Resilience Phase 2. All Focusing Philanthropy costs are covered by its founders.