Work that bears fruit


News from SALEM-Togo 

After quite a while we finally got news from our project in Togo. Fortunately, it is mostly positive news, as project advisor Agnes Ziegelmayer summarizes in her report. 

First the not so good news: The village of Baghan, where our training center is located, has been selected by the government to build a large agricultural center there. Therefore, areas are being deforested again and the subsequent intensive agriculture will take neither the population nor the environment into consideration.

But project manager Gbati Nikabou is not discouraged. His first reaction: "We will continue to plant and care for forests, because they are the basis of life for humans and animals." 

And our work pays off! Thank God there are other currents in the country who are committed to environmental protection as well. In May, for example, there was a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of the Environment in Kara, to which employees from SALEM-Togo were invited.

On the occasion of the project “One billion trees by 2035”, those responsible at the ministry were again made aware of the sustainable work of Gbati Nikabou and his team and asked him for his cooperation - “They need our experience in the field.

This meeting was obviously impressive and successful. Since June, the Ministry of the Environment has recommended that all cities adopt the SALEM-Togo strategy of creating community forests and carrying out tree-planting campaigns in schools. It is a great pleasure that the good work is spreading more and more - “the SALEM-tree is growing”.

 A great passion of Gbati is to experiment with different plants. Since the beginning of June, the team has been working on the rapid propagation of fruit trees using various grafting techniques, cuttings and sprigs. These little trees will already bear fruit in two years.

Another goal of our project is to encourage more people in the area to plant. They are reluctant because they don`t like to wait so long for the fruits to be harvested. As a trained educator, our project manager has therefore decided to motivate the farmers to start intensive fruit production in order to escape poverty.

In addition to the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture is now also interested in the work of SALEM-Togo. The training in the state universities and technical schools hardly seem to have any positive effects on agriculture in Togo.

That is why the Ministry, together with a French Development Agency, wants to strengthen the training skills of private technical schools and NGOs working in the agricultural sector. Two agricultural engineers from the Ministry recently visited SALEM to find out more about our project.

A seminar in Kara is planned for the near future, where representatives of other training centers will learn about the organization of our project. We hope for our friends and fighters for nature, that there will be a change of thinking and that our work will continue to be recognized and implemented on a larger scale.

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