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Farmers Grow Coffee to Restore Mozambique Forest

July 11, 2018

STORY: WOR Moz Coffee (CR) - Farmers Grow Coffee to Restore Mozambique Forest

LENGTH: 02:15

FIRST RUN: WED 1AM

RESTRICTIONS: AP Clients Only

TYPE: English/Natsound

SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS

STORY NUMBER: apus100500

DATELINE: Gorongosa National Park, Sofala, Mozambique - Various

RESTRICTION SUMMARY:  AP CLIENTS ONLY

SHOTLIST:

++MUSIC CLEARED FOR GENERAL USE++

ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Animation

1. Map of Mozambique

2. Text Cards over Map : “Decades of war have killed up to 1 million people and devastated local ecosystems.”

3. Text Cards over Map : “The Civil War officially ended in 1992 but violence has flared as recently as 2016.”

4. Text Cards over Map: ” In the shadow of political tension and aggressive farming conservationists have turned to a unique method of  reforestation.”

5. Graphic of coffee bean

ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Gorongosa National Park, Sofala, Mozambique – April 21, 2018

6.SOUNDBITE: (English) Quentin Haarhoff, Farmer, Head of Gorongosa coffee project

++Partially Covered++

″ This mountain is totally controlled by Renamo, which is the opposition force, they are not in government, and all their base camps are up there on the mountain, that’s where they live and that’s why they are protected by the people here who live on the mountain.”

7. Wide of mountain

8. Wide of coffee farmers resting

9. Medium of coffee farmers resting

10. SOUNDBITE: (Portuguese) Randinho Faduco, Coffee Farmer

++Partially Covered++

“We are currently planting, as well, native plants, forest plants, to restore the forest, that was destroyed during the (civil) war.”

11. Wide of young coffee plants

12. Close up of young coffee plants

13. Medium shot of young coffee plants

14. SOUNDBITE: (English) Quentin Haarhoff, Farmer, Head of Gorongosa Coffee Project

++Partially Covered++

“It is about planting 90 hardwood trees per hectare, reforestation... great. But how else can we improve the productivity in this one hectare of coffee ? And the more we plant in here, the more we stop erosion, the more we can make this place like a sponge.  So the water stays here, permeates and it goes down and it rehydrolyzes the river systems”.

15. Close up of coffee plant

16. Medium of Gorongosa Mountain landscape

17. Wide of Gorongosa Mountain landscape

18. Medium of river in Gorongosa Mountain

19. SOUNDBITE: (English) Quentin Haarhoff, Farmer, Head of Gorongosa Coffee Project

++Partially Covered++

″ This is the only way we can get them to believe in it.  What we can see, what can be done on a very small area of land.  Because one family can live on one hectare and make much more revenue than the traditional system of slash-and-burn.

ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Animation

20. Animation explaining the slash-and-burn method

21. Text Card: “The slash-and-burn method involves cutting down and burning patches of forest and using cleared land to grow crops.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Gorongosa National Park, Sofala, Mozambique – April 22, 2018

22. Close-up of roasted coffee beans in the roasting machine

23. Mid of coffee beans in the grinder machine

24. Close-up of beans in the grinder machine

ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Gorongosa National Park, Sofala, Mozambique – April 21, 2018

25.SOUNDBITE: (English) Quentin Haarhoff, Farmer, Head of Gorongosa coffee project

++Partially Covered++

″ I work for the government of Mozambique so it’s a very sensitive issue coming up here from both sides.  From our, side, the government side, how are you able to get up there, how are you able to conduct your activities.  And then the enemy, I mean, and then the Renamo looking down on us saying, what are you actually doing up here.  You say you’re planting coffee but you know you’re finding out more about what we are and what we’re doing so you can also be an enemy.  But we’ve had to evacuate from here three times.”

STORYLINE:

The rainforest of Mount Gorongosa, whose highest peak is 1,863 meters (6,112 feet), is home to pygmy chameleons and other rare species.

The mountain is under severe pressure from the rampant, corruption-fueled deforestation across Mozambique that supplies a foreign market, primarily China.

Scientists estimate that it has lost about 40 percent of its original forest since 1970.

Now local farmers are being encouraged to grow coffee in the shade of hardwood trees, both to improve their own lot and to restore the forest.

However there is a point beyond which visitors are told not to go as the region was the scene of military incursions and civilian flight in the last few years.

There were times when managers of the coffee-and-conservation project couldn’t go anywhere near the mountain because of the conflict, or had to walk up because the opposition had blocked the road with logs to prevent the military bringing up equipment.

With a lull in tension, they are pushing ahead with plans to plant more coffee and trees.

The mountain is important to locals as it captures rainfall and supplies the rivers sustaining people and wildlife living around its base.

It is among the more complex conservation efforts in southern Africa, a bid to convince farmers to abandon old-slash-and-burn methods of farming and commit to the longer-term yield of coffee on the same plots, while maintaining government support for a project in an area that harbors an opposition militia.

Randinho Faduco, is a coffee farmer participating in the project at Gorongosa National Park:

“We are currently planting, as well, native plants, forest plants, to restore the forest, that was destroyed during the (civil) war. We are cultivating coffee and native plants, to restore the forest, yes”.

The threat of drought and climate change also loom over a project driven by the idea that human development and ecological restoration must work in tandem if there is any hope for both to succeed.

Quentin Haarhoff, a veteran farmer of coffee around Africa acts for a non-profit group founded by American philanthropist Greg Carr that is collaborating with Mozambique’s government to rehabilitate Gorongosa National Park, a rich ecosystem whose animals are recovering after war and poaching.

“It is about planting 90 hardwood trees per hectare, reforestation... great. But how else can we improve the productivity in this one hectare of coffee ? And the more we plant in there, the more we stop erosion, the more we can make this place like a sponge and we restore the hydrology of this mountain, because we are retaining water in these small area for much much longer. So the water stays here, infiltrates the soil, instead of running off the surface of the soil, it permeates and it goes down and it rehydrolyzes the river systems” explains Haarhoff.

Scientists settled on coffee as an alternative tool in a broader restoration plan for the mountain because the 90 hardwood trees that are planted for every hectare of coffee provide shade that the crop needs to thrive.

A sustainable mosaic of cultivation and natural forest is envisioned, and farmers are encouraged to cultivate bananas, pineapples and other crops amid coffee plantations, providing fertilizer for the coffee from falling foliage.

The project aims to involve locals and make them stakeholders in their natural heritage.

“This is the only way we can get them (local residents) to believe in it: actually seeing what can be done on a very small area of land. The significance of this is that you cut down slash and burn, because one family can live on one hectare and make much more revenue than the traditional system of slash and burn” adds Haaroff.

The scheme is benefiting from a truce between the Renamo (the Portuguese acronym for Mozambican National Resistance) opposition group and the ruling Frelimo (Mozambique Liberation Front) party.

A post-colonial civil war between the two adversaries killed up to one million people and ended in 1992, though disputes over power flared into violence as recently as 2016 as Haaroff recalls.

“We have had huge troubles working here, this mountain is totally controlled by Renamo, which is the opposition force, they are not in government, and all their basecamps are up there on the mountain, that’s where they live and that’s why they are protected by the people here who live on the mountain. I work for the government of Mozambique, so it’s a very sensitive issue coming up here for both sides, from our side, the government side - how are you able to get up there, how are you able to conduct your activities, so essentially you may be a friend of the enemy, taking them up sustenance (food) and stuff like that. And then the enemy, I mean Renamo, looking down at us saying - What are you actually doing up here ? You says you are planting coffee but you are finding more about what we are, what we are doing so, you could also be an enemy for us. We have had to evacuate from here three times”.

Designed to help hundreds of families on and around Mount Gorongosa, the coffee project is supported by Carr’s foundation, the Norwegian government and the Global Environment Facility, a group of 183 countries, international institutions and other entities. The annual budget is expected to expand to between $1 million and $2 million.

Mozambique isn’t a coffee producer on a par with African industry giants such as Ethiopia and Uganda, and production goals at Gorongosa are relatively modest.

About 40 hectares (100 acres) of arabica coffee plants are in the ground; farmers plan to plant another 100 hectares (250 acres) this year and a total of about 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) over the next decade, all in areas that are being farmed or were farmed in the past. The first harvest comes four years after planting, and each hectare yields 2 to 3 tons of coffee beans.

Gorongosa coffee is already on sale at the gift shop at the wildlife park’s Chitengo lodge. One possible market is Portugal, where the Gorongosa name enjoys colonial-era mystique.

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