The Rwandan Ministry of Lands and Forestry has announced plans to plant up to 225,440 fruit trees as part of a broad government effort to fight malnutrition. By Fresh Plaza

The plan, first announced during a recent cabinet meeting, includes planting agro-forestry trees on 38,119 hectares, classic trees on 4,800 hectares and restoring 670 hectares of degraded forests across the country.

Emmanuel Uwizeye, the Head of Forestry Unit at the ministry, told The New Times that over Rwf4 billion (€4 mln) have been set aside for scaling up of tree planting across the country in the current fiscal year.

« Every district has allocated areas for tree planting but most of the trees will be planted in the districts of Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Rwamagana and Kayonza in Eastern Province, Uwizeye said. Fruit trees will be planted around mostly vulnerable households and schools. »

Members of the public, he said, will also be encouraged to plant fruit trees in their own land so they can improve on their families’ nutrition. Each seedling goes for Rwf500 (€0.50).

Governor Fred Mufulukye of the Eastern Province told The New Times that they have earmarked about Rwf2 billion to be used in planting different species of trees in areas that facing the threat of desertification. The trees will be planted in various areas, including school compounds, along the main roads and streets, in farms and other public places.