Mexico boasts fast start for reforestation program


Sembrando Vida calls for the planting of millions of saplings nationwide for agroforestry projects. (Photo, Mexican Welfare Secretariat)

By some measures, the Mexican government’s ambitious new program to revive traditional farming and stem migration from poor rural areas is already a success. “Sembrando Vida,” a US$750-million-a-year plan launched in February, aims to turn a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of unused land in 19 states into 2.5-hectare (6.2-acre) plots of trees and crops, creating employment for 400,000 people who might otherwise migrate to other parts of Mexico or the United States. Under the program, farmers use a kind of agroforestry, in which fruit and timber trees are grown alongside traditional crops. Farmers each receive a subsidy of around $250 per month for six years as well as tools, fertilizer and plants. Just four months after launching Sembrando Vida, the government claims it is over halfway to its target, enrolling 230,000 people on 575,000 hectares (1.4 million acres) through June. On July 19... [Log in to read more]

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