Solving complex issues at the intersection of environmental and humanitarian fields requires an innovative solution. Our sustainable model achieves this by using trees as a medium for change which will continue to reap benefits for both our planet and farmers for years to come.
We plant Ardu trees in Rajasthan, India to tackle the issues of air pollution and extreme farmer poverty. Our trees are planted by farmers who are then compensated for their work, giving them the financial resources to meet their short-term needs. The trees themselves, which are planted on the farmers’ plots of land, have numerous long-term benefits to the farmers who take care of them. All the while, these trees continue to clean our air, contributing to a healthier environment.
TREES AND OUR AIR
Trees remain one of the most effective large-scale solutions for improving air quality. According to Tree-Nation, the average tropical tree will sequester at least 50 pounds of carbon from the air per year. Trees also significantly reduce the small particulate matters emitted by industrial activities which are largely responsible for lung conditions. In the fight against air pollution, trees are one of our most powerful tools.
SHORT-TERM BENEFITS TO FARMERS
SproutingIndia utilizes a subsidization model in which farmers in extreme poverty do our planting, rather than volunteers. This allows us to provide them with a direct stream of revenue that's used primarily for immediate needs, such as taxes, purchasing food items, etc. This way, farmers receive financial assistance that goes a long way towards alleviating some of the economic pressures they struggle with on a day-to-day basis.
LONG-TERM ASSISTANCE FOR FARMERS
Short-term support by itself isn't enough. That's why we're thinking far into the future to ensure the sustainable well-being of farming families for years to come—all using the medium of trees. Read more about our three-fold agroforestry model below.
Animal invasions are a huge problem in the rural farming industry and can wreak financial havoc on a family. Many farmers are forced to sleep in their fields to prevent these invasions. The Ardu trees are planted on the border of the farmers' plots of land and, once sufficiently tall, actually discourage stray animals from entering the field. This hugely increases crop turnout and the overall financial stability of the household.
Animal livestock, such as cows and goats, are integral to a farmer’s income and serves as an insurance against crop failure—in fact, income from livestock account for roughly 30 to 50% of a rural household’s income. In order to supplement farmer income, we allow farmers to use some of the leaves of the trees they've planted as fodder during the lean seasons of the year (April-June,November-January), when harvest is low. Farmers thus have a reliable food source with which to feed their livestock, which gives them some financial security, especially in lean seasons. Not all the leaves are taken, and plucked leaves grow back in only 15 days, so this process does not negatively impact the carbon sequestration ability of the plants.
INCREASED SOIL FERTILITY
Most land in Rajasthan is arid and plots of land used by farmers are often not very suitable for large-scale agriculture, resulting in high rates of crop failure and subsequent financial instability. Ardu trees can, over a period of 10-15 years, greatly increase the fertility of the land, thereby increasing the economic return per unit of land for a farmer. As plots of land are generally passed on from generation to generation, the benefits of trees will continue to be felt long after their initial planting.