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Are Forest Gardens a Match for Desert Locusts?

Forest Garden farmers in East Africa are anxiously awaiting the growing desert locust swarms plaguing the Horn of Africa for the last two months. The locust threat has been mounting since January with the most concerning numbers in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. Swarms have also arrived in Uganda and Tanzania. Farmers who have yet to meet a  swarm on their fields are not in the clear, as one fateful shift in wind direction can mean the end of acres upon acres of unharvested crops. Trees for the Future trains smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa to use agroforestry and regenerative agriculture techniques to increase their yields and revenues while eliminating deforestation. Their Forest Garden Approach has helped more than 73,000 smallholder farmers lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. Typically, Forest Garden farmers are less vulnerable to environmental impacts like unpredictable weather patterns and damaging pests. Through crop diversification and sustainable practices, Forest Garden farmers tend to fare better than their monocrop neighbors. But when it comes to staring down a swarm of locusts, Forest Garden farmers have little immunity.