Chitedze Agricultural Research Station in Lilongwe has engaged communities surrounding the station in a tree-planting exercise aimed at replacing gmelina trees with indigenous ones.
Speaking at the launch of the exercise at the station on Tuesday, the station’s manager Wilkson Makumba said gmelina trees around the station have outlived their time and affect some of the station’s experiments.
“We are depleting all gmelina trees because they are old and do not add fertility to the soil. Instead, we are planting indigenous trees, including m’bawa and msambafumu which are environmental-friendly and add beauty to the station.
“Most of the gmelina trees are in the boundaries where some of our crops used for trials are planted. Our trials are affected since such trees contribute to soil infertility.” said Makumba.
He said the station is involving surrounding communities to create a sense of ownership among the people.
Group Village Head (GVH) Mwanjema said: “We create tree nurseries to be used by the station and other members of our communities who plant the trees in their fields and homes.”