By combining low-cost, high-yield farming techniques with sustainable environmental practices, the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative (CHDI) is helping communities and farmers like Gracienne Mahoro offset carbon emissions, prevent erosion, and improve soil fertility while improving individual incomes. Two-thirds of Africans derive their livelihoods from subsistence rain-fed agriculture, leaving them vulnerable to climate change that could threaten their very existence. These rural women and men are determined to contribute toward environmental management and economic development for their entire communities.
Through community planting programs in Rwanda and Malawi, CHDI has already helped local farmers plant more than 4 million trees. This reforesting is preventing the release of almost 450,000 tons of carbon – and the fruit and resources are providing vital income and food to the farmers.
For example, Mahoro used to grow beans, but his harvest was not yielding enough for him to make a living. Now, on one hectare of land, Mahoro plants cassava, maize, and trees, and gets three tons of harvest. Once the fruit tress Mahoro is tending are fully mature, he will be able to generate an income of more than $2,000 a year. Mahoro has already seen his income improve, and is using the money to improve the life of his family: "I bought more land and continued my cultivation, and I recently bought a house," he said.