COMBATING DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT
Jennifer Handondo, a small scale farmer of Choma district in southern Zambia, plants food crops such as maize mostly for her family’s needs. Because of uncharacteristically high temperatures and low rainfall during the rainy season in March, the divorced mother who single-handedly supports her three children, has not been able to harvest as much as she usually does. So she has diversified into selling seedlings of neem, Moringa and other medicinal trees.
“For me, trees represent money and a livelihood, but not in the wrong way through charcoal production but through these seedlings,” she told IPS. As a value add, she recently diversified into selling leaf powders such as Moringa Oleifera—a scientifically proven food and medicinal tree.
While she earns on average about 78 dollars from selling seedlings and powders each month, she said she earns as much as 5,400 dollars a month when she has large orders of the Moringa powder. She receives orders for the powder from large local institutions and explained that she usually has to collaborate with other farmers to fulfil these orders. Continue reading…