26/06/2012

Hi Everyone,

It's been a while since posting here but we would like to give a brief update on what's been happening recently in the world of AKT!

First of all, we have three students from Bangor currently undertaking their Masters research in northern Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda/Kenya border area. Emelda is looking at tree-crop-livestock interactions in a couple of research sites in Tigray Region of Ethiopia, Sabrina is comparing tree cover in Eastern Kenya since a local knowledge study carried out in the same area in the 1990s, and Swen is looking at climate adaptation strategies and incorporation of trees on farms in the Mt Elgon area of Uganda/Kenya.

Second of all, we've just completed a two week training course at Mekelle University in northern Ethiopia which involved training up eight researchers to carry out local knowledge research using the AKT5 software. It was a very interesting research site, a village called Abreha We Atsbeha, with many conservation works already implemented over the last 10yrs using physical structures such as stone bunds and check dams to combat flooding and soil erosion, which has led to more vegetation being able to regenerate - a major change that has helped this has been the exclusion of livestock from some areas of common land and farmers using the cut and carry method for feeding livestock with grasses (they've been restricted from harvesting leaves/branches from trees on the common land).

A new concept for us was the renting of trees for fodder, for example a farmer may have 10 Faidherbia albida trees whilst another farmer has none, so the second farmer can rent some trees from the other farmer to harvest from. Faidherbia albida (locally known as momona) is one of the most common trees and farmers talked mostly about the importance of its pods for livestock and its leaves for soil replenishment, as well as the way it doesn't compete with their cereal crops. The photos of our time conducting a scoping trip with Development Agents, interviewing farmers, and finishing up with a feedback session for the farmers have been uploaded here for you all to have a look at.

Enjoy!

Genevieve and Tim