Story by Tamuka Charakupa
INDIVIDUAL plant breeders have contributed to the success of the tree planting initiative in Chipinge, with the district having surpassed its annual target of planting 250 000 trees.
Individual contributions to the national tree-planting drive seem insignificant to many.
However, that won’t be the case anymore if one visits Mr Onai Gumisiro of Chipinge, who has turned his idle backyard into a fruit plants nursery.
“I started this project from nothing having realised that there was a gap and an opportunity to breed fruit trees,” he said.
Producing a wide range of fruit plants like macadamia nuts, avocado peas, and peaches among others, Mr Gumisiro says there are abundant opportunities for youths to explore the tree planting sub-sector as focusing on fruit trees can earn them a living.
“Right now I can generate around US$1 000 in a good month so I implore youths to find opportunities not just wait for the government to create jobs for them. I am also venturing into indigenous tree breeding so that we plant trees in our communities and contribute to saving our planet,” he added.
Gumisiro is one of many private plant breeders, who have contributed to Chipinge surpassing its annual target of planting250 000 trees.
“We have planted about 500 000 trees this year, which is double our annual target. We however continue to urge our communities to plant more trees, especially our indigenous species,” said Chipinge District Officer, Forestry Commission, Robinson Toronga.
The national tree planting target is 20 million trees across the country this year after a realisation that over 260 000ha of forests are lost to deforestation each year.