In the first quarter of 2014, BCP Trust promoted a series of trainings on Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) activities to community stakeholders living in the project zone for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP). In particular, BCP Trust supported trainings in mushroom production and dried fruit production. At the start of this second quarter, we are now preparing to support our first honey production pilot, taking place in an area of protected forest along the LZRP boundary.
In February, 22 women from Mweeshangombe Zone were trained in the production of dried fruit. The training was led by Ms. Indwina Kalunga, a local resident of Ndubulula Zone, who is also active in BCP’s sustainable eco-charcoal project. After discussing possible fruits and vegetables to dry, the women decided that moving forward in 2014, they would focus on preserving foods such as local greens that can be used in cooking. For now, they have decided to focus on using these new skills and technologies of improving nutrition in their families and local community, and in future, they aim to develop this program into an income-generating business. The production of dried fruits and vegetables is a fantastic way for local women to improve nutrition, food security, and develop small businesses based on a forest-compatible activity!
Also in February, BCP Trust supported a second mushroom production training, to follow-up from the original training that took place in Mweeshangombe Zone, which involved over 30 participants. Due to popular requests for more people to be involved in the trainings, an additional 16 participants have now been trained in mushroom production, from Mweeshangombe and Namanongo Zones, along the boundary of the LZRP.
BCP Trust aims to continue supporting these NTFP production projects in upcoming months and years, as a means of improving local food security, and hopefully, to assist community stakeholders in developing sustainable, forest-compatible businesses.
Both of these trainings were made possible by funds received through a generous VIGOR grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) (See more about BCP’s VIGOR grant from USAID here: http://biocarbonpartners.com/bcp-trust-receives-vigor-grant-from-usaid).