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Greenzone Afforestation Project: cashew trees thriving in our latest planting season

This tree-planting season, our team in Cameroon has been focussing on cultivating cashew plants (Anacardium Occidentale) for our Greenzone Afforestation Project. These remarkable trees are resilient and require significantly less water than other species, such as avocado and mango. 

cashew trees thriving in our latest planting season_Cashew plants nursery in Cameroon_visual 1 (1)Cashew plants nursery in Cameroon, Greenzone Afforestation Project, DGB.

Our dedicated team has been diligently working on the site preparation for this planting season. To date, we have successfully cleared 120 hectares of land, with the potential for additional hectares to be cleared by the end of September. To optimise growth and spacing, the team has planted the cashew trees with a five-metre separation, resulting in an impressive 400 trees per hectare.

At present, our primary emphasis is on the essential tasks of digging holes and planting trees. We are actively working on 30 hectares for this purpose, and the pace of this operation is set to increase significantly. To expedite the process, we have redirected most of our workforce to focus exclusively on this crucial phase. Additionally, we are bolstering our workforce by bringing in additional labour over the weekends, aiming to complete the planting phase by the third week of October.

Our nursery is also a hub of activity, with approximately 800,000 seedlings under our care, ensuring a sustainable supply of trees for our ambitious afforestation goals.

Read more: Growing green: The Hongera Reforestation Project expands its nurseries in Kenya

The Greenzone Afforestation Project is a monumental nature restoration initiative that fosters sustainable development. Over the course of seven years, our mission is to plant more than 30 million trees. These trees encompass indigenous shade and fruit varieties planted on community-owned land, contributing to biodiversity preservation. Furthermore, our project actively sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by capturing it in the soil, roots, trunk, and leaves of these trees. Beyond its environmental impact, the project also seeks to enhance water quality and generate employment opportunities, improving the livelihoods of local communities.

cashew trees thriving in our latest planting season_Locals working in Cashew plants nursery_visual 2Locals planting a cashew seedling, Greenzone Afforestation Project, DGB.

At the heart of our project lies cutting-edge technology. We leverage data from ground sensors, aerial drones, satellites, and machine-learning models to monitor biodiversity and predict future activities, ensuring the project's effectiveness.

Our project unfolds in the Congo Basin, specifically within Cameroon's central region. Covering 69,000 square kilometres, this French-speaking region is one of Cameroon's most densely populated areas, with over four million residents, primarily centred around the capital, Yaoundé. The region faces increasing pressure on its natural resources, driven by factors such as deforestation from commercial logging and firewood collection activities. However, the region's abundant precipitation, stable climate, and fertile tropical soils make it an ideal location for tree planting, with the potential to reverse deforestation trends.

cashew trees thriving in our latest planting season_Locals planting seeds in cashew plants nursery_visual 3Locals planting seeds in cashew plants nursery, Greenzone Afforestation Project, DGB.

Notably, the central region boasts remarkable biodiversity, with protected areas like Mpem et Djim showcasing high levels of vegetation diversity and housing 79 native mammal species, including a small population of leopards, lions, and chimpanzees.

Read more: TV spotlight: DGB Group CEO Selwyn Duijvestijn shares insights on carbon offsetting

We are proud of the progress we've achieved so far and remain committed to our vision of creating a sustainable, greener future. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to grow and nurture this important initiative. Together, we can make a positive difference.

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