Trinah Mwiinga stands laughing in her field in Zambia

The transformative power of trees in Zambia

Trina Mwiinga grows trees on her farm in Zambia with One Acre Fund. In addition to the benefits trees provide - boosting her crop harvest, by protecting them from climate breakdown and providing shade for her animals from extreme heat - she is paid to look after them by One Acre Fund.
Climate resilience Trees

Trina Mwiinga sits in the shade of the tree, shaking soil from the roots of recently harvested groundnuts. Looking at the many trees she has planted across the flat Zambian horizon, she says, “I see them as helpers.”

“The benefit of growing trees with One Acre Fund is that they help us fight climate change and purify our air,” says Trina.

Trina not only produces food — growing maize, cowpeas, sweet potatoes, cassava, groundnuts and sunflowers — but she has also planted trees on her land to store carbon in the ground.  

She says this type of mix of crops and trees, known as agroforestry, provides many benefits for her and her family. The trees not only sequester carbon, helping to fight climate change, and boost soil health keeping her crops healthy, but they also help Trina and her farm adapt to rising temperatures by providing much needed shade. 

Over time, the roots will improve the soil structure, protecting Trina from degradation caused by the combination of extreme flooding and drought her local area has been experiencing thanks to climate change. The trees’ roots will not only improve the overall health of the soil, but their falling leaves will add crucial organic material, enhancing the fertility of Trina’s land and increasing her harvests. 

Trina,  a mother of 9 and grandmother of 21, believes that the trees will restore the land for future generations.

“If I hadn’t started this program, years from now there would be a difference in how my children would be able to use this land,” says Trina, who had noticed the land becoming less fertile due to increased droughts in the 18 years she has owned this farm.

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In addition to the benefits the trees provide to her crops, she is pleased that she will be paid to look after them by One Acre Fund.

“They told us we would receive payments for growing the trees, depending on how well we grow them.”

Trina is investing this money wisely, saving her money to diversify her farm, making her more resilient to climate breakdown by having more diversity of crops and allowing her to invest in new enterprises. 

“My plans with the funds I receive are that I want to start a poultry farm. So, my plan is to save until I have enough to buy chicks.”

She says these trees from One Acre Fund have made a big difference.

“Life is changing thanks to these trees,” says Trina.