The benefits of a sustainable tree cover for land rehabilitation, soil improvement, and the provision of firewood, fodder, timber and many other secondary products have been widely recognised. The need to increase tree cover is particularly acute in the context of rapidly expanding human populations and intensification of production. The use of multipurpose trees for agroforestry has the potential to respond to some of these needs, increasing self-sufficiency in food production and providing income generation from wood commodities and non-timber forest products.
- Optimisation of neem products 1999-2000 (Funded by DFID)
This project brings together current information and research about neem. The project examined the needs for a genetic improvement programme focusing on Ghana and India as well as the benefits that poor farmers derive from the neem tree and the constraints to these benefits being fully optimised.
Prosopis juliflora and related arboreal species 1998-2001 (Funded by DFID)
This study brings together global knowledge on the genus Prosopis on which many rural populations in the form of a monograph and a bibliographic database. An extension manual has also been produced which is targeted at Indian users.
Community-based training courses on Prosopis management have been held to improve Prosopis management.
Selection an improvement of Prosopis in NE Brazil 1998 (Funded by FAO)
A consultancy to develop Prosopis juliflora as a means to stabilise semi-arid agriculture in the North East of Brazil.
Multipurpose trees in arid and semi-arid areas of north-west India 1991-1995 (DFID)
Genetic conservation and exploitation of Prosopis cineraria 1995-1996 (Funded by DFID)
The project collected and conserved seeds from threatened populations of P. cineraria. Useful variants were selected, propagation techniques were developed and information was disseminated to relevant stakeholders in India.
Comparative physiology, field performance and propagation of Prosopis 1989-1995 (Funded by DFID)
Garden Organic carried out six years of intensive research with the government of Cape Verde, to test the ability for different Prosopis species to withstand water, wind and salinity stresses. Unfortunately the trees planted prior to Garden Organic's project all originated from a small introduction, thus were genetically very similar, laying the tree population open to the spread of disease and pests. Through the research carried out, several species, not previously cultivated on the islands, have proven successful in the re-afforestation of inland areas suffering from extreme drought and have thus facilitated species diversification.
Potential for Jatropha curcas oil as a biofuel for degraded lands in the tropics 1996 (Funded by World Bank)
This review assessed the potential of this South American tree to produce oil for biofuel. Field visits were made to existing Jatropha projects in India, Mali, Nicaragua, Cape Verde and Zimbabwe to review the current state of these projects with emphasis on economic viability and the reasons for successes and failures.
This project involved developing techniques and management practices to conserve and select living germplasm of Prosopis cineraria. Educational literature including a manual in English and Hindi, posters in Hindi and children's games have been made available to local farmers, village groups and schools along with improved tree seedlings.