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ADRA targets to plant 40 000 fruit trees

ADRA Zimbabwe country director Judith Musvosvi (left) and a Seventh-day Adventist ambassador plant a tree at Lakeside campsite in Norton

ADVENTIST Development and Relief Agency Zimbabwe (ADRA) has set a target of planting 40 000 fruit trees between August and December this year, as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations.

ADRA launched its environment safeguarding and climate action theme by planting 1 000 fruit trees across the country’s 10 provinces, working through the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church structures and systems in the country.

The launch was in collaboration with the Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministry with technical support and guidance from the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe.

The organisation, which belongs to the worldwide ADRA network and present in over 100 countries globally, is a humanitarian and development arm of the SDA Church.

Its core sectors include livelihoods, health, education and emergency management.

ADRA country director Judith Musvosvi said the fruit tree-planting initiative was complementing rural horticulture transformation as enshrined in the Horticulture Recovery and Growth Plan and other government efforts highlighted in the National Climate Policy and the National Climate Change Response Strategy.

“ADRA chose to celebrate the 40 years with the theme of environmental safeguarding and climate action — with the goal of planting 40 000 fruit trees between August and December 2023. This is to mark a significant milestone in being actively engaged in humanitarian and development work,” she said.

“We are thrilled to launch this fruit tree-planting initiative as part of celebrating our 40th anniversary as an ongoing commitment to promote environment stewardship, climate change mitigation and sustainable agriculture.”

Musvosvi said the fruit tree-planting initiative aligned with ADRA’s commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainable practices, climate change mitigation and adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

“Trees play a crucial role in climate change adaptation and mitigating climate change effects. We have noticed that it will be difficult for anyone to cut down a fruit tree, say for firewood, hence as an organisation we are promoting the planting of fruit trees across the country’s 10 provinces in homesteads, farms, schools, and other facilities,” she said.

“ADRA recognises that climate change has a wide array of impacts and will inevitably have considerable implications on humanitarian and development interventions.”

Musvosvi said they had so far reached 10 SDA Church camping sites across the country’s provinces, where thousands of people were gathered at each site.

“This system and structure will make it easy to implement and monitor the fruit tree-planting initiative as the Seventh Day Adventist Church has a strong belief in environmental stewardship,” she noted.

“The church is encouraging its members to enlist their non-member neighbours and support them to plant fruit trees in their homesteads. Pastors and church leaders will support, monitor and report on the progress of the fruit tree-planting exercise.”

She added: “For monitoring and verification purposes, every site or field where fruit trees are to be planted is to have its global positioning system co-ordinates captured and the information shared with the Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministry.

“The Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe shall be working with ADRA to conduct training for youths in planting and management of fruit trees and establishment of nurseries.”

Musvosvi said their main 40th anniversary celebrations would be held on September 8 under the theme Life Begins at 40: Plant a Tree at the Newlands Country Club, in Harare.

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