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Looking to Farmers this Earth Day

Written by Lindsay Cobb


Trees for the Future Forest Garden Farmers are Effectively Addressing Climate Change 

April 17, 2023 (WASHINGTON DC) – Thousands of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are sustainably capturing and storing carbon on their land through agroforestry systems called Forest Gardens.  

“Farmers are on the frontlines of the climate crisis,” says Trees for the Future Vice President of Programs Brandy Lellou. “We need to implement solutions that allow farmers to adapt to a changing climate while also contributing to mitigation. The Forest Garden does both.”  

Through training from Trees for the Future (TREES), farmers learn to use climate-smart, nature-based solutions to adapt to changing growing conditions. Over the four-year training program, farmers plant dozens of crop species and 2,500 – 4,000 agroforestry, timber, and fruit trees on one to two-acre plots of their own land. The average Forest Garden captures roughly 62.8 tons of carbon in trees, plants, and soil over a 20-year period.  

“Land use and unsustainable farming practices are leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions, but Forest Garden farmers are setting a new standard for farming,” Lellou says. “By applying regenerative agroforestry, they are improving their bottom line protecting biodiversity, and cooling the planet.”  

Carbon sequestration offers an income opportunity itself. TREES Forest Garden farmers are now joining the carbon market.  

“As the carbon market grows, we want to see farmers be both leaders and equal players in this space. They own the land. They are planting the trees and storing carbon. Now, they can choose to be early adopters in the rapidly growing verified carbon industry,” says Lellou. 

To date, TREES has trained nearly 50,000 farmers in the Forest Garden Approach and planted more than 300 million trees. Learn more about their work here.  


Trees for the Future (TREES) trains communities on sustainable land use so that they can grow vibrant economies, thriving food systems, and a healthier planet. 

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